ICE CREAM company Ben & Jerry’s announced this week that Australian customers would not be allowed to order two scoops of the same flavour at any of its 26 stores until the country legalises same sex marriage.
Almost three quarters of the Australian public including its Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and a majority of parliamentarians support marriage equality, compared with only 21 percent who oppose it, but the government is yet to translate this into law.
“Imagine heading down to your local Scoop Shop to order your favorite two scoops of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone. But you find out you are not allowed – Ben & Jerry’s has banned two scoops of the same flavor. You’d be furious!” said Ben & Jerry’s in a press release.
“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.”
The company encourages customers to sign up to the Equality Campaign and write to their local member of parliament to urge change. Postcards are available in stores across Australia to write messages of support of gay marriage which will be delivered to MPs.
“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 for to achieve marriage equality, so we need to act now,” says its website.
— Ben & Jerry's Oz (@BenAndJerrysOz) May 25, 2017
Former Australian PM Tony Abbott had promised a plebiscite on marriage equality, however after being debated in the Senate for more than a year, it was rejected.
Australia’s 1961 Marriage Act still defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and was amended in 2004 by then-PM John Howard to exclude even same-sex marriages awarded overseas.
Ben & Jerry’s joins a huge number of corporations in Australia who have publicly endorsed same-sex marriage, including Adobe, Foxtel, the Commonwealth Bank, Kmart, McDonald’s, the National Australia Bank, Vodafone and Sydney Airport.
Australia’s national carrier Qantas has been a vocal advocate under CEO Alan Joyce, who was recently assaulted with a lemon meringue pie at an event for his support of marriage equality.
Australia’s controversial immigration minister Peter Dutton recently criticised Joyce for using his capacity as CEO to endorse same-sex marriage. But Virgin Australia and its founder Richard Branson also support marriage equality.
Ben & Jerry’s has also supported marriage equality in the United States, where same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide. This week, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.