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Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Microsoft: ooops? People are pissed?

Shit, they mind our lack of support?

Gates: Microsoft may reconsider stance on gay rights bill

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. may rethink its decision to withdraw support for state legislation that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians, Chairman Bill Gates says.

In an interview with The Seattle Times, Gates said he was surprised by the fierce criticism that followed the company's decision to no longer back a state gay rights bill it had supported in previous years.

The legislation failed by one vote in the state Senate on Thursday, spurring outrage among advocates who accused Microsoft of caving to political pressure from an evangelical pastor.

``Next time this one comes around, we'll see,'' Gates said in the story published Tuesday. ``We certainly have a lot of employees who sent us mail. Next time it comes around that'll be a major factor for us to take into consideration.''

Microsoft, one of the first companies to offer domestic partner benefits to gay employees, has denied that the pastor or anyone else outside the company influenced its decision. Gates said executives hadn't expected a backlash.

Gates said he and Ballmer both support the measure personally but, ``We won't always pick every issue for the company to have a position on.''

Gay rights groups have said they feel betrayed.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center asked Microsoft to return a civil rights award it gave the company in 2001. Liberal Web bloggers have urged their critics to organize their own Microsoft boycott.

If Microsoft had never taken a position on the bill, no one would care. But backing down pissed off some of the company's most loyal supporters. Microsoft supported gays when homophobia in the old line tech companies was standard. The company doesn't get that many of their employees like working for a company which sees them as equal human beings, and not lesser animals.

There was a sense of personal betrayal which was profound.

And I think the sharp, negative reaction showed that people do care. They would have never done this to any other group, from single moms to Asians, but when it comes to gay, one wingnut can get the company to turn it's back on one of it's most positive policies. We're talking people who want the Free BSD demon changed. Why cave into them at the time their movement is coming under serious scrutiny.

The wingnuts think TV is too racy, you can never satisfy their demands. So why even try? You won't make them happy, no matter what you do and you won't keep your friends.

posted by Steve @ 6:23:00 PM

6:23:00 PM

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