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Google Doodle Celebrates LGBT Rainbow Flag Creator as Company Faces Criticism for 'Normalizing' Homosexuality

( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2017 09:59 AM EDT
The Google doodle for today, June 2, celebrates the creator of the rainbow flag, the symbol of the LGBTQ community.
Gilbert Baker's design has become a prominent symbol in the LGBTQ community Google

The Google doodle for today, June 2, celebrates the creator of the rainbow flag, the symbol of the LGBTQ community.

The doodle, which depicts an animation of brightly-colored fabric strips coming together in order to form the flag, honors the 66th birthday of the flag's creator, Gilbert Baker.

Baker, a gay rights activist who died last year, created the flag in 1978 after years of making banners for marches and protests held by San Francisco's gay community. He reportedly came up with the idea after Harvey Milk - a known sexual predator and the first openly gay politician to run successfully for public office in California - challenged him to come up with a symbol of pride for the LGBT community.

"We needed something beautiful, something from us," Baker said during a 2015 interview with the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. "The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it's a natural flag -- it's from the sky."

Google explains that the sequence was made by Doodler Nate Swinehart and a team of supporters only a few block away from where Baker first created the first rainbow flag.

"LGBT Doodler Nate Swinehart wanted to capture that same community spirit Baker treasured," the company notes. "He collaborated with other team members, including other LGBT Doodlers who felt personally connected to the project, to nail down the right concept."

"Today we celebrate Gilbert Baker's pride, creativity, and the lasting impact he's had on strengthening and uniting people all over the world," Google wrote.

This isn't the first time Google has showcased the LGBT community: It's created a virtual reality Pride experience, included gay men in its ads for Google Goals, featured transgender individuals in Google business marketing, and allowed users to make their own pride map.

In 2014, a Google Doodle showcased Winter Olympics sports doused in rainbow colors in response to the Sochi Games and Russia's law banning "gay propaganda". In March of this year, the company debuted the winner of its "Doodle for Google" art competition, 15-year-old Sarah Harrison who showcased both queer and transgender individuals in her doodle.

Most recently, the company dropped a 30-second and for Google Home, which included two gay dads, drawing swift condemnation from the Christian community. 

"It's just more propaganda," Gwen Landolt, the head of REAL Women of Canada, told LifeSiteNews at the time. "It's an attempt to normalize same-sex relationships using children as props. But it is not normal and what they are not telling you is that it is not good for children."

According to LifesiteNews, Google CEO Sundar Pichai in May added his name to a letter urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott not to sign "discriminatory" legislation - presumably any bill opposed by the LGBTQ lobby.

Google is also ranked no. 3 on Glassdoor.com's list of the 25 best companies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT employees.

Last year, Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham bathed the life-sized Noah's Ark replica in Kentucky in rainbow colors over the holiday season in an attempt to reclaim the symbol from the gay rights movement.

On the ministry's website, Ham wrote that Christians need to take the rainbow back and said it should not symbolize "freedom, love, pride or the LGBTQ movement," but rather God's covenant with Noah.

"Sadly, people ignore what God intended the rainbow to represent and proudly wave rainbow-colored flags in defiance of God's command and design for marriage," Ham wrote. "Because of this, many Christians shy away from using the rainbow colors.... As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning."

Tags : Google doodle, Google doodle pride, pride flag, LGBT, rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, Harvey Milk