Ben & Jerry's announced this week that it would be renaming its "Oh My! Apple Pie!" ice cream flavor to "Apple-y Ever After" in support of same-sex marriage legislation in the U.K., marking the second time the company has renamed a flavor to support gay marriage.
"If you think that Civil Partnership is the same as marriage, think again! Show your support and help convince members of parliament that it's time to say 'I do' to same sex marriage!" says Ben & Jerry's website advertising the name change.
The name change is also accompanied by a Facebook app that allows users to "marry" one of their friends of the same sex, as well as a pre-written template for asking British lawmakers to support the same-sex marriage legislation.
This is not the first time Ben & Jerry's has come out in support of same-sex issues. In 2009, the company renamed its "Chubby Hubby" ice cream to "Hubby Hubby" to commemorate its home state of Vermont legalizing same-sex marriage. In 1993, Ben & Jerry's became one of the first U.S. companies to offer spousal benefits to domestic partners regardless of sexual orientation.
In addition to its political statements, Ben & Jerry's has often attracted attention for the controversial names of some of its ice cream flavors.
In the last year, the company has come under scrutiny from One Million Mom's for its "Schweddy Balls" ice cream, and from Asain-American groups for its "Taste the Lin-sanity" flavor. The Jeremy Lin-themed ice cream featured pieces of fortune cookies, which some perceived as racist, eventually leading Ben & Jerry's to change the recipe to include waffle cookies instead.
In response to the new "Apple-y Ever After" flavor, the Telegraph Assistant Comment Editor Will Heaven expressed his distaste for the politically-active frozen treat.
"Reading that PR announcement made me want to bulk-buy Häagen-Dazs," Heaven writes in the British publication. "Why? Not because I'm a crazed homophobe, but because I'm so irritated by my food telling me what I should believe."
Even pro-gay website Queerty welcomed the new flavor with some trepidation.
"Now, this is definitely a praiseworthy endeavor in some respects," writes Queerty contributor Evan Mulvhill, "but we wonder if they could throw some money back to the gay community, since they're sort of profiting off 'the cause.'"
While Ben & Jerry's has partnered with the British gay, lesbian, and bisexual charity Stonewall on the "Apple-y Ever After" promotion, it does not appear any of the profits from the ice cream will go directly toward LGBT causes.
Ben & Jerry's does have a fairly active foundation, and while the company primarily provides grants to fair trade and community revitalization organizations, it has given grants to pro-same-sex marriage groups in the past.