The sandwich, which is available to buy in the UK and Ireland, is filled with lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato – to fulfil the LGBT acronym – and comes in rainbow-coloured packaging.
The supermarket released the sandwich to raise money for the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) – a charity dedicated to helping homeless LGBT+ youth – and BeLong to Youth Services – an organisation supporting LGBT+ young people in Ireland.
The retailer says it has donated £10,000 to the AKT and will be making a further £1,000 donation to BeLong to Youth Services.
Despite those good intentions, the sandwich has divided opinion on social media.
Many people have praised Marks and Spencer for continuing to campaign for LGBT+ rights.
“It’s nice to see M&S fighting bi-erasure by making us the best bit of this sandwich,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another commented: “Love this from @marksandspencer Respect! Live & let live...looks delicious too.”
A third added: “This is not just any sandwich ...” this is a @marksandspencer LGBT sandwich.”
However, others have responded to the launch with scepticism.
One commented: “Equating us to a sandwich? I can’t imagine them doing this with other marginalised groups.”
Another added: “Anyone seen the @marksandspencer LGBT sandwich. These companies are really just taking any swing to seem ‘inclusive’. And baby that’s a f***ing miss.”
The AKT replied to some of the negativity on Twitter, writing: “AKT is proud have the support of brands like Marks and Spencer, as without it, we couldn’t do what we do.
“If you’re not a sandwich fan but would like to help, learn how you can support us [on our website].”
Marks and Spencer caused similar controversy with the launch of its “Rainbow Sandwich” in July 2018 to mark Pride.
The supermarket revealed it made a £10,000 donation split across five LGBT+ organisations in Edinburgh, London, Belfast, Chester and Manchester.
However, some people claimed the retailer was exploiting LGBT+ culture to make money.
“I don’t applaud it. It’s the sort of idea that only comes from middle management meetings. ‘All the gays love rainbows. And vegetables! I know! Gay sandwich wrapper!’” one person commented.
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