I was out with several of my friends last night and this was a very heated topic. Many of the same points that readers have already brought up were discussed in depth, however in the end my position came down to this:
Imagine you were livign through the civil rights movement and today you were looking back at what your life was like back then. Would you want to say to yourself “you know what? i’m happy that the company i worked for was impartial and didn’t help or hinder the ability for blacks to be treated equally. It wasn’t their place to do so, and they should have just been doing what was right for their own employees in the service of maximizing profit for their shareholders.” or would you want to say to yourself “i’m happy that i worked for a company that helped support me in the work i did to end the inequality that blacks were facing during that time. This was a source of pride for me and was part of the reason i loved that company and have stuck with them through all this time. Rather than being beholden just to stock holders, they knew there was a greater good that could come of their actions, and like Schindler they did what was possible in an imperfect system to bring justice around.”
Yes, that’s stepping into Godwin territory, but i’m sorry, i do believe in greater goods and i do beleive that companies are not exempt in working toward them. Microsoft has done a great service by making their work place safe and open and accepting of everyone, regardless of these idiotic issues. But, to me that’s simply the bare minimum. 20 years from now when i have kids and they’re old enough to understand these issues i want to be able to tell them: “you know what? i know it’s tough for you to realize this, but before you were born it was the case that gays didn’t have the same rights as straight people did. They could get fired because of their orientation and there was nothing that could be done about it. But i fought hard to change that and i’m happy to say that i wasn’t alone in this. Millions upon millions of people stood up and said “this is wrong and it has to change”. And not only that, this was so recognized for being an awful thing that companies, like Microsoft, came together put their support behind the legislation that now protects these individuals as well. It’s one of the reasons i love this company and have stuck with them for this long. And it meant to me that this was more than just a company that i worked for so that i could bring home a paycheck. This was a company i worked for because i felt they were working toward things far more important.”
You feel differently. That’s fine by me. Personally, i’m unconvinced that this action actually had an effect on the outcome. What i am upset about is that when given the chance to publically make a statement in support of working being down that supported their values, they decided to stay silent. It is my hope that if this is the decision that we’ve decided to make for the company, that at least the community within (all the way to the top) will continue to do what they can so that this progress gets made on this in the future.
Anyways. 24-25 is extremely close, and given what we’ve been seeing around the country (and around the world), it is my belief that within 5 years (max) this will be passed and we can look back upon this time with the absolute shame that is deserved.
FYI, i recommend taking a reading the actual bill. You can find it here.