Church leaders call for boycott of Home Depot against Georgia voting bill
Reuters – Black religious leaders in Georgia representing more than 1,000 churches called for a boycott of Home Depot Inc on Tuesday, accusing the home improvement giant of failing to take a stand against the new Republicans-backed voting restrictions.
In a statement, Archbishop Reginald Jackson, who oversees the African Methodist episcopal churches in Georgia, said Home Depot had rejected requests to discuss the new law.
Other Georgia-based companies – including Delta Air Lines Inc and Coca-Cola Co – spoke with activists and issued statements opposing voting restrictions. Coca-Cola also hosted a multi-business meeting on April 13 with religious leaders.
“If you, as business leaders, don’t believe and don’t have the courage to speak out against this legislation, we won’t spend our money buying your products,” Jackson said.
Georgian law has imposed new requirements for postal votes, limit drop-off boxes and prohibited people from offering food and water to queuing voters.
Republican lawmakers in many states have used former president Donald Trump’s False Claims on Election Fraud to Support State Level vote changes they deem necessary to restore electoral integrity. Opponents say the laws disproportionately harm minority voters.
Home Depot said on Tuesday that it believe “All elections should be accessible, fair and secure and promote broad voter turnout” and that she “would continue to work to ensure that our associates in Georgia and across the country have the information and resources to vote.”
He also said he was leading his own initiatives, including registering more than 15,000 of his associates to vote.
More than 100 US companies, including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Ford Motor Co and Starbucks Corp, have declared their opposition to the new voting limits. Major League Baseball withdrew its All-Star Game from Atlanta, citing Georgian law.
Republican Governor Brian Kemp Tuesday, defended the law, telling reporters it will make voting safer while expanding early voting on weekends.
“This madness must stop,” he said. “It’s about time hardworking Georgians knew that instead of boycotting big companies like HD, we should be supporting them.”
At a press conference to announce the campaign, several pastors warned that the boycott intensify if Home Depot did not speak out against the law forcefully.
“This is not a Democratic or Republican question; it’s a moral question, ”said Jamal Harrison Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. “We say to Home Depot, it’s always a good time to do the right thing.”
(Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York and Joseph Ax in Princeton, New Jersey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Alistair Bell and Dan Grebler)