Ben and Jerry’s has a long and varied history as a supporter of the LGBT community. To celebrate the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, Ben and Jerry’s renamed its chocolate chip cookie dough flavor, I Dough, I Dough.
Ben and Jerry’s latest show of solidarity for the LGBT community may be their most unique yet, however. The iconic ice cream brand has banned it’s customers from ordering two scoops of ice cream of the same flavor in all of their 26 stores, as long as same-sex marriage is illegal.
So, when ordering flavors for an ice cream cone, customers will only be permitted to order ice cream flavors that differ from one another. It’s a symbolic gesture that Ben and Jerry’s hopes will inspire their customers to help push forward a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
Ben and Jerry’s announced the news earlier this week via a press release.
“Imagine heading down to your local Scoop Shop to order your favourite two scoops of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone,” said the press release. “But you find out you are not allowed – Ben & Jerry’s has banned two scoops of the same flavour. You’d be furious! Don’t live near a scoop shop – no problem! You can sign up through the Equality Campaign’s website here.”
“But this doesn’t even begin to compare to how furious you would be if you were told you were not allowed to marry the person you love.”
They continued, “So we are banning two scoops of the same flavor and encouraging our fans to contact their MPs to tell them that the time has come – make marriage equality legal! Love comes in all flavours!”
The press release went on to cite Austrailia’s “dated” Federal Marriage Act, which doesn’t recognize all marriages, regardless of gender.
“Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”
The Marriage Act also doesn’t recognize couples who may get married in other countries and choose to return to Austraila.
Ben and Jerry’s then urged its customers to do their part by telling their MP’s why they need to support marriage equality.
“Our team will be putting post boxes in all 26 Ben & Jerry’s stores across Australia. Grab a postcard and tell your MP why you want them to support marriage equality now. We will make sure that the postcards are delivered before the final parliamentary session on June 13th, before the budget is announced –We see this as the next opportunity to achieve marriage equality, so we need to act NOW!
“At Ben & Jerry’s we love love, and we think most Australians do too. More Australians than ever before believe everyone should have the right to love who they love – and marry them too, if that’s what makes you happy. Let’s make it happen! Go to your local scoop shop to send a message to your local representative and tell them you support marriage equality!”
Ben and Jerry’s new strategy has been met with mixed reviews across social media, of course. Some users are supportive of the brand’s decision to use their platform to advocate for marriage equality.
Some users, however, feel that Ben and Jerry’s has no place getting involved in political issues.
What do you think of Ben and Jerry’s new rules for their Australian customers? Do you think that this will help or hurt Ben and Jerry’s business? You can sound off in the comment section, below.
[Featured Image by Tyler Olson/Shuttershock]