Remember when big corporations were considered greedy? When Governor Romney’s “corporations are people too, my friend” line drew some laughs? Remember when corporations were the representatives of the dreaded 1 percent?
That was oh-so-two-months-ago. For the fourth year in a row, President Obama declared June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,” and corporations used this opportunity to revamp their image. “The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has written a proud chapter” in American history, the president said:
From brave men and women who came out and spoke out, to union and faith leaders who rallied for equality, to activists and advocates who challenged unjust laws and marched on Washington, LGBT Americans and allies have achieved what once seemed inconceivable. This month, we . . . recommit to securing the fullest blessings of freedom for all Americans.
That’s when your favorite companies began bragging about their commitment to homosexuality in an effort to attract the homosexual buying community and their liberal friends. Kraft Foods photoshopped an Oreo cookie with rainbow stuffing, made to celebrate Gay Pride month. General Mills (owner of Betty Crocker) opposed a ban on same-sex marriage in their home state of Minnesota. AT&T tweeted their support: “It’s gaypride and @ATT is celebrating. Let the picture tagging begin,” linking to a YouTube video in which the corporation brags that they have been more gay-friendly (and for a longer time) than other companies.
One look at the laughable “diversity statement” of General Mills demonstrates these companies are not simply extending their hand to a potential customer base with a large percentage of disposable income:
We cultivate an inclusive environment by considering all dimensions of diversity — not just the primary areas such as gender, race and sexual orientation — but also cultural aspects including values, preferences, beliefs and communication styles.
General Mills forgot the asterisk, however, by the phrase “all dimensions of . . . values, preferences, beliefs,” which reads:
*This excludes the values and beliefs of anyone who has traditional beliefs about homosexuality shared by three major religions for the past 3,000 years.
After all, does the company really respect the values and beliefs of its Christian customers and employees as the company with this political stand (opposing a same-sex marriage ban) and moral stand (proclaiming gay sex is a higher and more important “value” than traditional Christian values)?
And these companies are doing this with kids’ breakfast cereals and cookies.
In other words, “Gay Pride Month” is a political and moral statement by the Obama administration and large corporations to marginalize and shame people who don’t want to celebrate all things gay.
Maybe corporations are sick of being criticized by the 99 percent. Maybe they’ve gotten tired of simply making products and now want to become our moral leaders. Maybe General Mills is trying to appease Michelle Obama, especially since Lucky Charms can’t be grown in her garden and are still available to purchase in New York.
But perhaps instead of all the self-congratulatory ads and rainbow colored cookies, they should try to make quality products and respect all of their customers’ values.
After all, heterosexual conservative Christians are customers too, my friend.