Betty Crocker, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Cheerios, Yoplait, Oreos and Trix are just a few of the famous product lines owned by corporate food giant General Mills.

About a year ago, General Mills chose to pursue a corporate strategy that openly and financially supports same-sex marriage, and recently, two new controversial programs have been unveiled.

One of the earliest moves was the Rainbow Oreo Cookie, which the Minnesota-based food giant featured on the Oreo Facebook page. While not an actual product, the cookie was posted to show General Mills' support for the fight against an amendment in that state to protect traditional marriage.

Then, in July of this year, GM announced the beloved breakfast cereal Lucky Charms will be incorporated as part of a same-sex support campaign called Lucky To Be. General Mills sent a memo to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation about the campaign that contained the following statement:

We're celebrating Pride month with whimsical delight, magical charms, and two new rainbow marshmallows... If you're lucky enough to be different, we're celebrating you.”

 

Now, Betty Crocker has been implemented in the food giant's support of same-sex marriage. When Minnesota recognized same-sex marriage Aug. 4 of this year, General Mills stated Betty Crocker cakes will be at the centerpiece of a program called The Families Project. Part of the opening text of the Family Project website has this statement:

Families are changing a lot. But they've still got one thing in common -- the love that makes a home. At Betty Crocker, we believe that a family is a family, no matter how it's arranged."

According to the widely-read Internet blog Fellowship of the Minds:

And although 71 percent of Americans say they have 'old-fashioned values about marriage and family,' the GM website quickly points out that 'we' don’t really want to be 'old-fashioned,' but simply want to be 'together.'”

The National  Organization for Marriage has started a "Dump General Mills" petition online, and they argue that by purchasing General Mills products, people are financially supporting these programs because corporate profits are being used to fund them. They say while people enjoy and rely on many GM foods, they don't want their money being used to support values they don't agree with.

Some General Mills shareholders have voiced their opinion in shareholder information meetings they wish the company would stay out of the social and political arena, and just focus on food and services production.

Other industry experts say GM's move to support same-sex marriage and throw their support behind the movement is a hedge against possible protests or negative publicity from such groups as GLAAD. They point to the attacks on Chick-fil-A that occurred when its founder/CEO publicly declared he supported traditional marriage values of men and women.

As of Monday, Aug. 12, the Dump General Mills online petition showed it had been signed by about 26,404 people.