There are three things that everyone in the world needs: oxygen, water, and carbs. With that universality in mind, the recent anti-gay comments made by the chairman of the world’s biggest pasta company, Barilla, are just plain ridiculous. Chariman Guido Barilla sparked controversy late last week when he said his company “would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them.”
Mr. Barilla is unconcerned with whether gay consumers would stop buying pasta from the company because gays can “eat another brand.” Since then, a petition to boycott the brand has reached over 123,000 signatures. But if you’re boycotting Barilla and still want an Italian dinner this week, what are the gay-friendly alternatives?
Italian food maker Bertoli took advantage of the controversy by posting some pro-gay imagery on its social media feeds. “Love and pasta for all!” reads the caption of a photo of some particularly gay looking pairs of pasta. “We just wanted to spread the news that Bertolli welcomes everyone, especially those with an empty stomach,” said a company rep. The brand has also been gay-friendly here for a few a years too–check out this adorable ad featuring a gay couple from a couple of years back.
Pasta maker Buitoni also responded to the recent controversy by posting its own pro-gay imagery on its Facebook page. “#PastaForAll” reads the caption of a picture showing gay and straight pairs of pasta. Buitoni’s parent company Nestle, has a non-discrimination policy includes sexual orientation, but at the same time, has a ways to go in providing equal benefits to all of its employees according to the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which measures LGBT inclusiveness across various companies. Still, baby steps and some nice tortellini aren’t bad things
Store brand pasta from Target is another option and a decent choice for anyone looking for cheaper alternative. The company publicly supports LGBT events, uses gay couples in marketing, and upholds a comprehensive LGBT-friendly corporate policy according to the HRC. Though Target was in the news this summer when it donated money to the Republican Governors Association, an organization that contributed nearly $3 million to the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate in Virginia. The company has since apologized for its decision. On the whole, not bad for a major corperation
If making pasta seems like too much work and you want drown your emotions in unlimited breadsticks, just head over to Olive Garden. Its parent company, Darden Restaurants, has one of the best gay-friendly corporate cultures in the country—it was the only restaurant company in the US to fully comply with the HRC’s corporate equality standards. See, you can have it all—gay pasta, gay breadsticks, gay salads, you name it!