When Ben & Jerry's extended full benefits to the partners of employees in same-sex relationships back in 1989, it was a fairly radical move. The general climate in the US wasn't very supportive of LGBT rights, let alone same-sex couples seeking the same recognitions as heterosexual couples.
Fast-forward 26 years, and it's a wildly different situation. After the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in the 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, the nation saw a whirlwind of action on the issue, as the decision to legalize marriage equality was taken up state by state. With over half the country in support of marriage equality, the stage was set for the Supreme Court to finally make a nation-wide agreement to federally recognize the right for all couples to be legally married. And now here we are, celebrating every couple’s right to marry in every US state.
To celebrate this monumental victory for LGBT rights, Ben & Jerry's has renamed the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor to "I Dough, I Dough." And who better to tell the story behind our long-standing commitment to ‘Love Who You Love’ than Lisa and Mitch— two employees whose own same-sex partnership was first recognized right here at Ben & Jerry's. We caught up with Lisa and Mitch to talk about the changes they've seen the country go through, what it was like to be able to openly work on LGBT rights with their employer, and why benefits were just the start to a fight that is finally yielding the sweetest flavor of all: equality.
Amidst the rainbow-colored celebrations, it’s important to remember that the fight for LGBT equality isn’t over. The LGBT community still faces discrimination in housing, employment and healthcare, as well as higher rates of outright violence. There’s more work to do to ensure that all LGBT people feel safe and supported in every aspect of life. So spread the love, and continue to be a voice for equality.
Find out how you can support the movement for LGBT rights. (Because after all the “I Dough”s are done, there’s still more stuff to do.)
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
Ben & Jerry's believes in equality for everyone, everywhere — no matter who they are or who they love.