"Hidden" Gay Pride Google Doodle sparks controversy

Google tried something a little different to commemorate Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, but it seems to have stirred up a storm of controversy.

One of Google's most beloved quirks is its tendency to celebrate special occasions by replacing its home page logo with clever Google Doodles. But to commemorate Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, Google tried something a little different, and now it seems to have stirred up its share of controversy.

Search for terms like "gay," "lesbian," "transgender," "LGBT," and other pride-related words in June, and a little rainbow appears next to the search bar. The problem is that there's nothing even mentioning this easter egg of a Google Doodle on the search engine's front page - leading many in the gay community to wonder why Pride, of all events, is forced "into the closet."

Compounding the problem, according to critics, is the fact that Google's frontpage logo has changed for relatively trivial events like the 76th Birthday of Roger Hargreaves, the 122nd birthday of Charlie Chaplin, and even the 119th anniversary of the first documented ice cream sundae. So why not Gay and Lesbian Pride?

The controversy has been brewing all week long, but here's the only public statement released by Google at this time, as reported by several outlets:

“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."

It seems unlikely that Google was actively trying to alienate their LGBT user base with these rainbows, given the search giant's widely-circulated contributions to the It Gets Better project. But it's surprising - and a little disappointing - that Google didn't seem to think through how this "hidden" doodle would go over.