Gay Rights


Ok, i’m just hearing about HB1515 now and i’m finding it to be a
confusing issue and very worrying.  I’m hoping that we can hear
some explanation for the events that have transpired here. 
Regardless of MS’ actions, supporting equality for all regardless of
trivialities like race, sex or orientation is extremely important to me
and it will continue to be something that i work toward.


Comments (11)

  1. Cyrus

    I have to agree with you here. But I would to add equality for different neurologies. as in neurodiversity.com . People that are autistic (high functioning or aspergers)have differences that are not trivial and require protection. The guy bram cohen who invented bit torrent is an aspie as well (aspie is someone with aspergers’ syndrome)

  2. geoff.appleby says:

    Personally, I got one major surprise out of this. (This is a non-american point of view here 🙂

    I don’t care what microsofts opinion is, or in which way they support (or don’t) a bill. I’m surprised that bills like this rely on corporate support. This is a bill being put through the government – it’s a goverment thing, and a citizen thing. The fact that in the US it seems that a lot of these things rely on corporate backing is astounding to me. Politics is not the place for corporations to hold sway, especially in human rights issues.

    I’m not trying to start a war at all, it’s just simply so surprising to me that so much of american politics seems to rely on corporate backing. To me it’s two things that should not be holding hands.

    Individual corporations having policies to make things fair on a human rights and equality level is good, sure, and they also need to comply with the law whether they agree or not, but I always thought goverment was for the people, not the corporations.

  3. Seth Webster says:

    Capitalism at it’s worst. While the system works to better the economy better than any system in the world, it also ends up seeping it’s way into areas that it doesn’t belong. Many United States citizens feel the same way you do. Don’t think that we all agree 100% with the way our system works.

  4. Michael Schramm says:

    Cyrus,

    I agree with you completely. Not to make light of what Joseph says, because that’s important too, it isn’t directly related to your posting.

    Here’s what happened in Olympia today when the entire Washington state Senate, for the first time in 28 years of trying, took a vote on the floor on the measure to include sexual orientation in the state’s nondiscrimination law. By a margin of one vote, 25 to 24, it voted "No."

    The vote was largly along party lines, but the Republican minority had the help of two Democrats, and thus defeated the measure. If you are gay in Washington (at least most everywhere outside of King County, where Seattle and Redmond are located) you can still be fired from your job, kicked out of your apartment, or denied services with no legal recourse.

    Some people attribute this loss, rightly or wrongly, to Microsoft withdrawing its previous approval of the bill and taking a "neutral" position instead, because of a threat from one fundamentalist minister to launch a boycott if Microsoft continued to support the bill.

    Of course, it will never be known if Microsoft’s neutrality was what actually made the difference. Microsoft says it is still committed to the rights of its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees; but there is a strong feeling of disappointment, even betrayal, at the turn of events today.

    The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employee group (known as GLEAM) has been and is continuing to discuss the matter with management. We must wait and see what transpires. Please be patient.

    As for the state government, the sponsors of the bill will try again next session. Perhaps the 29th time will be the winner and this form of discrimination ends in Washington State.

  5. geoff.appleby says:

    "Capitalism at it’s worst. While the system works to better the economy better than any system in the world, it also ends up seeping it’s way into areas that it doesn’t belong. Many United States citizens feel the same way you do. Don’t think that we all agree 100% with the way our system works."

    Oh, I never presume anything when it comes to americans *grin* Just kidding. No, you’re right, I’m sure just like any big issue anywhere in the world people will be divided. Personally, I don’t see a problem with supporting this bill, it just makes me sad that crap like this would get in the way of it.

  6. lisa says:

    After reading both the article in the Stranger and the New YOrk Times it is very troubling. I don’t know if you read americablog, but this is being discussed in quite a bit of detail with many offers of support for Microsoft Employees as well as sharing the disappointment that Microsoft folded to pressure by the threat from a Religious Group, who now seems to enjoy bragging about their "conquest". While there were other large corporations that did not fold, I’d have to agree that it’s not clear what if any affect Microsoft not supporting this bill had. That said I can also understand why employees would be concerned. I’ve listed the link to the americablog below if you are interested.

    http://americablog.blogspot.com/

  7. fuz says:

    Finally, one piece of legislation that New Jersey got right: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcr/law.html

    Now if only we could fix the blackmail, bribery, pay-to-play, stealing, and lying portions of NJ gov, we’d be set 😛

  8. anthonw says:

    Neutrality is the proper position to take. Christians cannot be offended for a corporation’s support, gays cannot be offended for a corporation’s denouncement.

    I find it hard to believe that boycott threats from a local church would have anything to do with it. It’s more likely that Microsoft merely recognizes that its employees are split on the issue and taking a neutral position is the safest route.

  9. DrPizza says:

    "Neutrality is the proper position to take."

    So people shoulda been "neutral" about the discrimination blacks faced?

    Jesus christ.

  10. CyrusN says:

    "Neutrality is the proper position to take. Christians cannot be offended for a corporation’s support, gays cannot be offended for a corporation’s denouncement."

    I disagree. Microsoft has a publically stated policy of tolerance and of supporting diversity in the workplace. It seems odd that given taht stance they would not try to help a bill that made it a requirement for all other companies to bahave the same way.

    if a company is going to state that it has social morals then i fail to see the problem with it supporting the social processes that are addressing those same issues.

    Why should they care about people taking offense? If they cared then they wouldn’t have this actual policy toward supporting diversity and preventing discrimination based on orientation.

  11. CyrusN says:

    Geoff:

    "I don’t care what microsofts opinion is, or in which way they support (or don’t) a bill. I’m surprised that bills like this rely on corporate support. This is a bill being put through the government – it’s a goverment thing, and a citizen thing. The fact that in the US it seems that a lot of these things rely on corporate backing is astounding to me. Politics is not the place for corporations to hold sway, especially in human rights issues."

    I care. It’s very important to me that the company i work for support diversity and equality for all, regardless of sex, race, orientation, etc. And it will be part of my decision about who i work for. Microsoft has a strong position on this in the workplace, and so it makes sense to me taht they would push for this sort of equality to be present everywhere, not just in their company. After all, when you say that you beleive that women should be treated equally to men, do you mean "just in the US" or do you mean "in the world"? I don’t want microsoft’s vision to by myopic and always lookign inward toward making a good workplace for it’s employees. I want the company looking outward and doing what it can to make the world a better place.

    "I’m not trying to start a war at all, it’s just simply so surprising to me that so much of american politics seems to rely on corporate backing. To me it’s two things that should not be holding hands."

    It’s not clear that the two are related in here. i am more unhappy that MS did not support a bill that it had supported in the past.

    "Individual corporations having policies to make things fair on a human rights and equality level is good, sure, and they also need to comply with the law whether they agree or not, but I always thought goverment was for the people, not the corporations."

    Why can’t a corporation support the people?