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Microsoft joins Apple in backing same-sex marriage

updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu January 19, 2012

Microsoft takes stand on Washington gay marriage

Microsoft took a rare socially-oriented political stand on Thursday with a statement endorsing Washington state legislation that would clear same-sex marriage. The Windows developer was joining a handful of other companies in the state, including Nike and RealNetworks, in saying Senate Bill 6239 and HB 2516 would be positive for the state as a whole. General Counsel Brad Smith argued that Microsoft needed a "workforce that is as diverse as our customers" and that the company would be at a disadvantage if it excluded same-sex couples that wanted to marry.

Smith insisted the company respected those who disagreed and stressed that it wasn't going to ask employees to change their minds. Microsoft did, however, want to make sure that same-sex couples didn't feel ostracized. "It's important to go beyond simply forbidding discrimination," Smith said.

Microsoft has a history of supporting such policies, dating back to 1993 when it became the first company in the Fortune 500 to give benefits to such couples. While aggressive in overall policy, however, it's slightly behind Apple in making a more direct political statement. Apple drew both criticism and praise when it formally opposed California's Proposition 8, an eventually overturned measure that banned same-sex marriage.

Last year, both Apple and Microsoft employees participated in the "It Gets Better" series of videos that showed the value of overcoming anti-LGBT bullying among teens that might otherwise consider suicide.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is anyone surprised?

    After all, Apple did do it first!

  1. facebook_Rodolfo

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012



    It doesn't matter who did it 1st, someone did it before Apple, whats great is that companies are jumping on board to provide equality for everyone.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. trinko

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad decision

    First Prop 8 was not overturned. One judge, who is g** and who stood to benefit from the law, decided that the voters of California didn't matter.

    Second I wonder how folks would feel if these companies would have come out on the other side of the issue? Most Americans oppose same s** marriage, that's why it's never won in a referendum.

    I'd prefer if companies kept out of contentious social issues. It forces people to subsidize political positions they don't like.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The world continues to deteriorate

    The Sodomites are pushing hard here in the State of Washington. And with the liberal Seattle area legislators promoting it, it will likely pass.

    It will be a sad day for the state and a sad day for this country.

  1. gentooq

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i mean really . . . WHAT?!?!?! the h*** are trinko and Mr. Strat talking about?

    the judge in the Prop 8 case ruled based on direct collision with the California constitution. there are legal scholars out there who also believe that the Proposition will not survive a Federal challenge brought on a 14th Amendment basis, specifically with respect to ". . . nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    for those of you who might be challenged in the same manner as trinko or Mr. Strat, "due process" is a judicial reference NOT a green light to simply make laws that marginalize portions of the population you do not like or agree with.

    on the more humorous side, it's been quite some time since i have been referred to as a "Sodomite". i take significant umbrage at the application of this label, having never attacked an unknown traveller in any town in which i have ever resided.

    and finally, neither of you is being forced to do anything you disagree with . . .

    trinko - if you feel so strongly about subsidizing political positions you don't like (i do notice that you did not say "do not agree with"), then do not purchase the products made by such companies. surely you can summon that much personal political will in response.

    Mr. Strat - it would only be a sad day for the state and this country if you, or any one else, were forced to pretend to love, and then be required to marry, someone for whom there wasn't the least bit of emotional attraction . . . simply because it would make everyone else happy.

    you are both entitled to your opinions about me, and all of the other g** and L****** folks you have never, ever met, but the traditions of this fine country, embodied in the US Constitution and various other governing documents at all levels, were conceived and written to prevent you from using them against me as a weapon.

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