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No profit in hate: Corporations raising the bar for LGBT rights

 
 
A few weeks ago, the Facebook Universe was abuzz with the controversy caused by a seemingly harmless image: an Oreo cookie. But unlike the ordinary, single-layer treat that we have enjoyed since childhood, this cookie stood out—with six, multi-colored layers.
The rainbow Oreo image was the company’s own “coming out” of sorts in support of the LGBT community, and their fight for understanding and equal rights.
While the response was for the most part positive, there were some—rather loud—calls to boycott Oreo for their support of Gay Pride Month. Across the Facebook Universe, some people made solemn vows to never buy the cookies again.
What these dissenters failed to realize is that the campaign wasn’t just launched by the Oreo brand itself, but by the massive Kraft Foods conglomeration that markets and sells hundreds of products in over 140 countries worldwide.
From A1 Steak Sauce and Cheez Whiz to Cadbury chocolates and Maxwell Coffee, chances are, most Americans have at least one Kraft product in their refrigerator or pantry this very moment. Whereas boycotting one brand of cookie may seem like a simple task, boycotting a food conglomerate is a different matter entirely.
In an email to ABC News, Kraft spokeswoman Basil Maglaris summed up the company’s stance, “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.”
The reality is that Kraft Foods is just one in a long—and growing—list of companies that have shown their support for gay rights. 
So, if you are one of the few still committed to the Kraft boycott and the hundreds of products they represent, you should also try boycotting Google.
That’s right. Never run a Google search again.
On July 7th, Google announced its “Legalize Love” campaign, which focuses on promoting LGBT rights, awareness and acceptance in countries and cultures that are particularly homophobic. It debuted in Poland and in Singapore, and will continue to expand across the world.
While this is hardly Google’s first display of gay rights activism—some people might remember the “nod”  to same-sex couples in last Valentine’s Day’s themed logo animation, or the company’s opposition to California’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage—the plan is ambitious to say the least.
The fact of the matter is countless companies are lining up to protect and promote gay rights. While they may do something as little as prohibit discrimination in the workplace (something required by federal law, the same way that protections against sex and religious discrimination are), many organizations do far, far more.
But if you are still committed to shunning Oreo, Kraft, and even Google, then you should also never buy something at Costco, Amazon, or Best Buy. You need to turn in your iPod, your MacBook Pro, or any Apple product you have owned over the years. But be careful replacing your Mac with a PC, because any Microsoft software is off-limits. Put your Chevy or Mustang up for sale, because both GM and Ford—the most “American” of American cars—support gay rights.
Times are changing. If these billion-dollar corporations have realized that, then perhaps it is time that more of their consumers open their own eyes.
Some people will argue that these companies are only in it for the money—I argue that at least is shows that there is no profit in hate.
 
Lexi Thoman is senior international studies and Spanish double-major from St. Louis, Mo.