Absolut 'will not take legal action' after Westboro Baptist Church's homophobic attacks 3 years ago

Absolut 'will not take legal action' after Westboro Baptist Church's homophobic attacks

'We believe love is love'

Absolut CEO Anna Malmhake has personally responded to the Westboro Baptist Church after the religious group began a Twitter war with the Absolut Vodka brand last week.

Advertisement

On National Vodka Day last Thursday, the church tweeted the alcohol brand, writing that "God hates drunks" and "God hates pride," the latter of which was emblazoned over a rainbow flag.

But Absolut hit back on the social media site with a smartly edited graphic video that showed the company's record of attending rallies to collect hateful signage and slogans.

The company told the church that it has "extracted the ink" from those signs for a new bottle design that features the word "love" written across it in 16 different languages. The company has now invited the church to "send more signs."

absolut new bottle (Credit: Absolut)

Speaking to JOE, Absolut CEO Anna Malmhake said that her company will "always support the LGBTQ+ community" but will not be taking legal action against the notorious Christian group in this instance.

Advertisement

She said: "When Westboro Baptist Church used our bottle in a hateful manner, we had to respond because we strive to live our core beliefs. Absolut have, and will always support the LGBTQ+ community.

"We believe love is love, and people should be free to love who they choose. Love is the most powerful force in the world. This is why Absolut’s latest campaign celebrates the power that love has to create a more open world, and make a real difference to people’s lives, especially in places where hate-speech and intolerance is widespread.

"We only take legal action when people use our brand for commercial purposes. If the use is part of freedom of speech we don’t. This has to be assessed by our legal department."

Advertisement

Westboro Baptist Church has a reputation as one of the US's most extreme Christian organisations. The Southern Poverty Law Centre, an organisation that monitors hate groups in America, describes the group as "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid" of any it observes.

The group gained publicity for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was tortured and killed in 1998, with signs that read "God hates fags."

Westboro Baptist Church denies that it is a hate group, arguing that "preaching the gospel" does not constitute hate.

 

Advertisement