The Washington-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM), announced a boycott of General Mills, owners of the Betty Crocker brand, after General Mills announced its opposition to a ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota, their headquarters.
“We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy – and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it,” Ken Charles, vice president of global diversity and inclusion for General Mills, wrote in a letter to employees and the public.
“We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have, and we always will.”
NOM’s president had this to say:
“In declaring a war on marriage, General Mills is declaring war on their own customers. Now, rather than seeing the flowing ‘G’ trademark as a symbol of General Mills, consumers across the world will equate that symbol with gay marriage.”
NOM set up a website for supporters who want to know which products to protest. The introduction reads in part:
“I never thought that by eating Cheerios for breakfast I would be supporting gay marriage. Your decision to pander to same-sex marriage activists has forced me to choose between your food products and my conscience. As long as food is produced by other companies my conscience is going to win out over the desire for another bowl of Lucky Charms.”
And therein may be the foundation of the problem: the lingering state of anxiety over an insatiable desire for Lucky Charms.
Because when bigoted intolerance serves as the sole inspiration for avoiding a sugar-coated, chemically ladened substitute for real food in the form of breakfast cereal, someone has a problem.
The lead group, Minnesotans United for All Families, fighting the amendment praised General Mills’ decision.
“The business case against this amendment is straightforward and powerful,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families.
Carlbom added that General Mills’ decision to “publicly oppose this hurtful, freedom-limiting amendment sends a clear message that neutrality on this amendment is simply not in Minnesota’s best interest.”
Minnesotans United also launched an online petition to thank General Mills for taking the position.
“While General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees,” Charles said.
“I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion.”
Charles acknowledged the company’s stand invites intensely passionate reactions over this controversial issue. “Obviously, there are strongly held views on both sides. We acknowledge those views, including those on religious grounds,” he said.
Charles added: “We respect and defend the right of others to disagree. But we truly value diversity and inclusion – and that makes our choice clear.”
John Helmberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, the group pimping the amendment, expressed his disappointment that “General Mills has decided to play PC politics by pandering to a small but powerful interest group that is bent on redefining marriage, the core institution of society.”
According to the Star Tribune, the National Organization for Marriage, a key group supporting the marriage amendment, sent letters to 50 of the state’s largest companies urging them to remain neutral on the measure.
“Marriage is in the interest of children, because it is society’s best way to help children experience the ideal environment where they are raised by their mother and father,” Helmberger said.
“It’s ironic and regrettable that a corporation that makes billions marketing cereal to parents of children would take the position that marriage should be redefined.”
Gay Pride Oreo
Meanwhile, Kraft Foods posted a gay pride Oreo on Oreo’s Facebook page. Kraft’s gay pride Oreo is a photoshopped picture of an Oreo cookie stuffed with rainbow-colored layers of frosting.
A caption reads: “Proudly support love!”
Some Facebook users pledged to boycott Oreo cookies because of the post. “I’ll never buy Oreo again,” one commenter wrote.
“Disgusted with oreos,” wrote another. “Being gay is an abomination in GOD’s eyes I wont be buying them anymore.”
According to Basil Maglaris, a spokeswoman for Oreo’s parent company Kraft Foods, the rainbow-stuffed Oreo is a symbolic prop and won’t be sold in stores. It was created solely for the advertising campaign in honor of Pride month.
“We are excited to illustrate what is making history today in a fun and playful way,” she said in an email to ABC News.
“As a company, Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the OREO ad is a fun reflection of our values.”