Hubby Hubby! Ben & Jerry’s Celebrates Marriage Equality in VT with New Moniker for Classic Ice Cream
When marriage equality was approved in Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s--the famed ice cream company based in that state--celebrated with an ad campaign for a new frozen treat.
"We married fudge, cream, & brownies," read print ads for "Flipped Out" sundaes.
"Don’t worry," the ads continued, "it’s legal in Vermont."
Now that marriage equality has actually come into effect in Vermont with the first same-sex marriages in that state taking place on Monday, Aug. 31, the company that brought an ice cream-loving public flavors like "Karamel Sutra," "Chunky Monkey," and "Cherry Garcia" has re-named one of its classic concoctions: for one month, "Chubby Hubby" will reflect the sweet triumph of family over fearmongering as it goes under the temporary new moniker of "Hubby Hubby."
A Sept. 1 press release from the company notes that Ben & Jerry’s is "known for its euphoric ice cream flavors and dedication to social justice," and announces that, "In partnership with Freedom to Marry, Ben & Jerry’s aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and, to show its support, will serve ’Hubby Hubby’ sundaes in Vermont Scoop Shops throughout the month of September."
Adds the release, "Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of commitment to social justice, including gay rights.
"Its partnership with Freedom to Marry, a national leader in the movement for marriage equality, aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and to encourage other states to follow the blazing trails of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Maine. Freedom to Marry promotes the national conversation about why marriage equality matters and brings together partner organizations into a larger whole--a shared civil rights campaign."
The release quoted company CEO Walt Freese as saying, "At the core of Ben & Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to.
"From the very beginning of our 30 year history," Freese added, "we have supported equal rights for all people.
"The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream."
It’s not just Ben & Jerry’s social views that are cutting-edge contemporary; its marketing and customer outreach are thoroughly up-to-date, too, as demonstrated by the company’s Facebook page, where jubilant text appears.
"Vermont is for Lovers & lovers of marriage equality!" the text at the Facebook page reads.
"We are gathered here to celebrate Vermont and all the other great places where loving couples of all kinds are free to marry legally."
Elsewhere on the Web, however, anti-gay pundits decried the company’s gay-friendly flavor.
Commentators at conservative chat sire FreeRepublic.com, which frequently posts gay and lesbian news to generate feedback, garnered the sort of remarks for which the site can reliably be looked to.
The sites users, who call themselves "Freepers," had their comments posted beneath a solicitation for donations to the site that read, "Hate ’em? End ’em!"
Wrote one Freeper, "’Gay Marriage’ ice cream: dedicated to the principle that some people will put ANYthing in their mouths."
Others brought less wit to the discussion. Wrote one, "They could name it ’Marry Your Goat’, for all I care," while another jotted, "Why not call it ’Nuts in my Buddy’?
"How about ’Fudgepackin my Hubby?" continued the posting. "Sky’s the limit with tolerance and diversity."
Others suggested flavors named "C**ksmoker Vanilla," "Reacharound Raspberry," and ""Crunchy Carpet-Munchy."
Wondered on Freeper, "Whatever happened to Liberty Ice Cream, which was a premium product with a patriotic/conservative theme to answer the diseased communist ideology of BJ ice cream."
Another posed the question, "Why isn’t there one called ’wifey wifey’?"
Tutted one Freeper, "Don’t think I have ever purchased their products and don’t intend to in the future;why support people who hate you?
"Now if only I could say the same about my car’s fuel," the posting went on.
Joked another, "Will they also eliminate the ’Ben & Jerry’ from the label and replace it with just a big ’This BJ’s for you!’ on the container?"
One user, however, posted a query with serious undertones--at least to ice cream lovers.
"How many Freepers are loyal customers of Ben and Jerry’s and won’t change that?"