Swiss chocolatier who’s against same-sex marriage insists he can’t be homophobic because he has gay employees
The CEO of premium Swiss chocolatier Läderach has defended anti-gay comments about same-sex marriage, saying he can’t be homophobic because he employs gay people.
Johannes Läderach, an evangelical Christian and head of Swiss chocolatier Läderach, opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights and is a member of the anti-LGBT+, anti-abortion organisation Christianity for Today. His father is the group’s president.
The LGBT+ community in Switzerland has been calling for a boycott of the chocolate shops, and a flashmob chanting “chocolate makes you happy, not homophobia and racism” gathered outside a Läderach branch in Zug in December. Same-sex couples in the flashmob took turns kissing outside the store.
In October 2019, a brand of the chocolate shop in Basel had to be evacuated after a protester let off a stink bomb.
In an interview with the newspaper NZZ am Sonntagexternal, Läderach made a feeble attempt to defend his views, and said that he couldn’t be homophobic because he employed gay people.
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He said: “I understand it if people value a woman’s right to choose more than an unborn child’s right to life. But I ask for understanding for my opinion. I’m allowed to have a different opinion.
“No one at Läderach is homophobic – neither the management nor the staff. We have homosexuals working for us. We don’t ask about it. Läderach has a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination.”
The 33-year-old Swiss chocolatier added that he would not be changing his views.
He continued: “I don’t want to stop fighting for my Christian values just because we’re having success as a company.
“Ultimately what counts is not how much profit we make but whether we stand by our convictions.”