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Google quietly drops drag show sponsorship after Christian workers push back with petition declaring performance 'direct affront' to beliefs
Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Google quietly drops drag show sponsorship after Christian workers push back with petition declaring performance 'direct affront' to beliefs

Google quietly dropped its sponsorship of a San Francisco drag show after Christian employees filed a petition calling the performance a "direct affront" to their religious beliefs, CNBC reported.

According to the outlet, Google sponsors multiple pro-LGBT events during Pride month each year for employees and the public to attend. As this year's closing event, the LGBT+ bar Beaux, in San Francisco, was slated to host the "Pride and Drag Show" featuring performer "Peaches Christ" on Tuesday to "wrap up this amazing month."

The event was sponsored by Google, but following pushback from a group of employees, the tech company distanced itself by removing the performance from the company's internal events page, discussions viewed by CNBC revealed.

A few hundred employees filed a petition accusing Google of religious discrimination for sponsoring a sexualized and disrespectful performance. Additionally, the employees reported to People Operations and the company's human resources department that the event violated a Google event policy that bans sexually explicit activity. The Christian workers requested an apology from their employer.

"Their provocative and inflammatory artistry is considered a direct affront to the religious beliefs and sensitivities of Christians," the petition stated about the performance.

In its place, Google scheduled a separate event at its offices and encouraged employees to attend. However, it noted that staff could still attend the drag show performance if preferred.

Some workers in support of the pro-LGBT event slammed Google for caving to the pushback by quietly removing its sponsorship. They criticized their Christian colleagues, claiming they were fueling a political culture war.

CNBC obtained confirmation from Google that the tech company no longer considered the drag performance a "Google-recognized diversity, equity and inclusion event," the outlet stated

"While the event organizers have shifted the official team event onsite, the performance will go on at the planned venue — and it's open to the public, so employees can still attend," Google spokesperson Chris Pappas told CNBC.

Pappas noted that the drag performance was planned "without going through our standard events process."

"We've long been very proud to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Our Pride celebrations have regularly featured drag artists for many years, including several this year," Pappas added.

Google would not address whether its sponsorship was pulled due to the employees' petition.

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