Why Did Google Hide Their Gay Pride Feature?

You've seen them.

Google has featured "doodles" (see: screencap above) on its search engine home page for all sorts of famous birthdays and holidays, but apparently not for Gay Pride month —well, not "openly" anyway:

There's never been an actual Google Doodle in honor of Gay Pride. Instead, during June, a little rainbow pops up next to Google's search bar only when users search for certain "pride-related" terms, including, "gay," "lesbian," "homosexuality," "LGBT," "marriage equality," "bisexual" and "transgender."

"During the month of June, Google is celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride," the company said in an e-mail. "For some Pride-related search queries, we are showing a rainbow at the end of the search bar."

You know, because heterosexual people hate being forced look at rainbows.

"We enjoy celebrating holidays and special events at Google. As you may imagine, it's difficult for us to choose which events to celebrate on our site, and have a long list of those we'd like to celebrate in the future," a statement said.

It'd be nice to think that the "future" could be a day like today, given the news of New York's passage of the gay marriage bill, but apparently it's not that simple:

The hidden doodle "should keep the six-color rainbow, a symbol universally associated with gay pride ever since San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker created it 33 years ago, from appearing on the pages of those who are still opposed to gay rights. And keep Google from having to deal with any backlash," writes Nicholas Jackson on The Atlantic's tech site.

Jackson, who is gay, calls the fact that Google hasn't created a full-blown doodle in honor of Gay Pride "disappointing."

"Instead of boldly declaring its support of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, Google added a tiny rainbow to the end of its search bar," he writes.

Still, if you're of the belief that any progress is still progress, you might join Instinct Magazine in commending Google for trying:

"Google has lead the tech industry in supporting our community, and the latest addition to its arsenal of inclusion is a welcome boost in the right direction."

Critics: Google hides Gay Pride feature [CNN]