June is LGBTQ Pride Month and countless corporations and government agencies in Western nations have appropriately signaled their virtue by displaying rainbow flags or altering their logos to include the rainbow colors.
Pride Month is not celebrated everywhere, however, and a recent report indicated that government officials of Saudi Arabia were confiscating rainbow-colored clothing, toys, and other items that bear the “poisoned message,” India’s NDTV reported.
The seizures are part of a government crackdown on homosexuality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is a potential capital offense and in violation of the strict Islamic Sharia religious laws that govern the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is definitely not celebrating Pride Month
NDTV cited a local Saudi media report about the crackdown led by the Kingdom’s commerce ministry on likely LGBTQ-themed rainbow-colored articles of clothing and toys and other goods that are often marketed to children.
“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colors targeting the younger generation,” a Saudi commerce official said.
Further, the report indicated that the rainbow flag has been dubbed the “homosexuality flag” in Saudi Arabia and government officials believe that the rainbow colors send a “poisoned message” to children and young people.
Rainbow-themed corporate logos — but only in certain places
The stance of Saudi Arabia against homosexuality and LGBTQ Pride Month should not be particularly surprising, nor are the Saudis alone, either, as numerous predominantly Islamic nations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia have all adopted formal stances that eschew or even outlaw the celebration or practice of the LGBTQ lifestyle.
Indeed, Fortune reported last year on the obvious dichotomy of Western-based corporations changing their logos to celebrate Pride Month in Western nations while keeping their logos normal in the Middle East and other heavily Islamic regions.
The general consensus in that article among marketing analysts and consultants was that the multinational corporations were attempting to walk a fine line between celebrating Pride where it was acceptable while simultaneously ignoring it in areas where LGBTQs are not generally accepted.
The Post Millennial also looked at the corporate logo duality during Pride Month last year but was a bit less forgiving in the assessment and chalked up the dueling logos to hypocrisy and pandering to both the LGBTQ community as well as to customer bases in the anti-LGBTQ nations.
Pandering and corporate greed was the assessment put forward this year by The Federalist with regard to the corporate logo duality around the world during Pride Month, and it cited marketing research and studies to bolster the conclusion that it was mostly greedy “rainbow capitalism,” and not necessarily genuine allyship, behind the rainbow-colored corporate logos and programming during the month of June.
The cited research and studies showed that, on average, members of the LGBTQ community tended to have more disposable income than other subgroups and higher rates of loyalty to corporations and organizations that they believed were “LGBTQ-friendly” — thus, the at times ridiculously over-the-top rainbow-themed corporate pandering for one particular month of the year, though only in areas where doing so won’t lose customers or result in prison or death.