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Corporations for and against marriage equality and gay rights


Google Unveils New Rainbow Navbar for Gay Pride Month

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Go to Google and try searching for gay pride, gay, lesbian, transgender, or a handful of other keywords, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see a rainbow-colorred background on the page’s navigation bar.

It’s Google’s way of saying “Happy Pride!”

Thanks to Tyler Albertario for tipping us to this!

Google Gay Pride

Google Celebrates Gay Pride Month

Facebook Bans Queer As Folk Producer for Marriage Equality Post

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Facebook QAF censorship

Facebook’s censors seem to be running amok this week. The massive website has now come under fire for banning a US QAF producer for posting a celebration of Pennsylvania marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

Del Shores had originally posted on Wednesday to commemorate equal marriage becoming law in Pennsylvania, referencing a scene from the US version of the show. He wrote: “Today, a fan pointed out that Debbie can now marry Carl! Why? Because in one episode of QAF, when Carl asked Debbie to marry him, she said she would not until gay marriage was legal in Pennsylvania. How amazing! It’s an amazing time in history!”

How, exactly, is this offensive? Facebook has since apologized, but we seem to be seing more and more of these incidents related to LGBT rights and photos of gay romance.

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Brendan Eich Was a Victim of Market Forces

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Firefox - MozillaBrendan Eich is a tech legend, the inventor of Javascript–a programming language that powers much of what’s cool on the web. He is also a bigot, a donor to California’s successful Prop 8 effort in 2008 to enshrine hate in the state constitution by banning same-sex marriage.

Last week he was named as CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for the Firefox browser. It is an organization in turmoil, as the mobile revolution makes desktop computers increasingly irrelevant, and with that, Mozilla’s core product.

The problem with Eich is that, well, he’s a bigot. And worse than that, he hasn’t “evolved” since 2008, like so much of America. He held steadfast to his beliefs, out-of-step with the world his product serves. So the Mozilla community erupted in anger, and after a half-assed effort to hang on, Eich resigned the position. So of course, you have people screaming about “persecution” from the usual conservative suspects to contrarians like Andrew Sullivan.

Authored By Markos “Kos” Moulitsas- See the Full Story at the Daily Kos

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Silicon Valley’s Prop 8 Donations By Company

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Nate Silver Silicon Valley Prop 8 Graph

In the wake of Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich’s departure, gay uber statistician Nate Silver breaks down how Silicon Valley donated its money in the Prop 8 initiative race. Note: This is only a breakdown of the individuals who donated to either side of the Prop 8 initiative in Silicon Valley and who noted their company, not how the companies themselves donated.

Joe.My.God reports:

The list includes Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Cisco Systems, Apple, Google, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Oracle, Yahoo, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Symantec. I limited the search to donors who listed California as their location. In total between these 11 companies, 83 percent of employee donations were in opposition to Proposition 8. So Eich was in a 17 percent minority relative to the top companies in Silicon Valley. However, there was quite a bit of variation from business to business. At Intel, 60 percent of employee donations were in support of Proposition 8. By contrast, at Apple, 94 percent of employee donations were made in opposition to Proposition 8. The opposition was even higher at Google, where 96 percent of employee donations were against it, including $100,000 from co-founder Sergey Brin. There isn’t much data on Mozilla. Only four Proposition 8 donors listed it as their employer: Eich, who donated in support of the measure, and three others who opposed it.

It’s interesting to see the different corporate cultures reflected in these donation patterns.

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Honeymaid Turns Anti Gay Hate Into Love

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Honeymaid Love VideoOMG this is amazing – after Honeymaid took flack for its “Wholesome” commercial featuring, among others, gay families, it too the hateful responses and turned them into something beautiful.

The Advocate reports:

Nabisco graham cracker snack brand Honey Maid released a new ad campaign in March, “This Is Wholesome,” which features a variety of families, including those with interracial, single, and gay parents. However, a handful of homophobes — including the antigay group (far less than) One Million Moms — were “outraged” and blasted the graham cracker brand for “promoting homosexuality.” In a brilliant move, Honey Maid has responded with a new video featuring two artists who create a heartwarming message from paper printouts of the hateful messages the brand received since the inclusive ad aired.

You have to watch this – it’s beautiful. And as the video notes, they received ten times as many positive responses as negative ones.

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USA: Mozilla CEO Resigns in Prop 8 Donation Controversy

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The new CEO of Mozilla has resigned after it was revealed that he had donated to the backers of Prop 8.

Firefox - MozillaABC news reports:

“I have decided to resign as CEO effective today, and leave Mozilla,” Eich said in a statement provided by Mozilla. “Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next.” Eich was previously chief technology officer of the company, but had been involved in Mozilla’s development starting from its conception in 1998. The previous acting CEO Jay Sullivan had left the company to pursue “new opportunities,” the company said.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I’m torn over it – on the one hand, it’s sad to see someone who is opposed to marriage equality running a progressive tech company. On the the other hand, have we just created another martyr for the religious right? He did step down, and was not fired, but such distinctions are often lost on our opponents.

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Russia: Updates on Sochi and the Anti Gay Laws

Friday, February 7th, 2014

As the Sochi olympics get underway, we have some updates on the games and Russia’s anti gay propaganda law.

Dutch SnowboarderOur favorite story of the morning – Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas showed her support for the LGBT community at the end of her run. reports:

Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas, who is one of six openly gay athletes competing in Sochi, failed to qualify in the slopestyle event at Sochi yesterday and will have to try again on Saturday. As the camera focused on Maas at the end of her run she looked right into it and lifted a gloved hand to the lens – which just happened to be covered in unicorns and rainbows.

This is awesome in so many ways.

Google FoodleGoogle also jumped on the protest bandwagon. reports:

Google’s Doodle has gone rainbow in an apparent response to the Sochi Games and Russia’s law banning ‘gay propaganda’. A quote from the Olympic Charter sits below the doodle: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

How many millions of people use Google and will see this meassage? I wonder if it’s appearing in Russia?

Channel Four Rainbow LogoThe UK’s Channel 4 also got into the act.

Joe.My.God reports:

This is fantastic. Via the Guardian: Channel 4 is to rebrand its on-screen logo with rainbow colours of the gay pride flag – and launch a TV ad campaign called “Gay Mountain” – joining the rising wave of protests about Russia’s anti-gay laws on the eve of the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Channel 4, which has the TV broadcast rights to the Winter Paralympics, joins the growing ranks showing their support for gay athletes and protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

In other news, Asian leaders seemed unconcerned by the debate over LGBT rights at the Games.

Edge Boston reports:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Chinese counterpart appear not to be bothered by the international ruckus over Russia’s law restricting gay rights. Unlike President Barack Obama, who pointedly declined to attend the Winter Olympics, the leaders of the world’s second and third largest economies – where gay rights are not a hot-button political issue – are going to Sochi. Also skipping the event are French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German President Joachim Gauck.

Not surprising, given that gays in both countries have very few rights.

Queerty takes a look at the protests, and what may happen next:

The Russian government will not take kindly to protests in Russia proper, to stay the least, so while the games offer a world stage for activists, they’ll be subjected to a brutal police force backed by harsh anti-propaganda laws. The wimpy IOC isn’t making things any easier by walking on eggshells, and for gay and hundreds of pro-gay straight athletes whose competitive (and sponsorship) aspirations hinge on these Olympics, dreams of the podium should and will occupy almost every waking thought. Even so, we foresee high drama and lots of conflict — that much we can be sure of. Here’s a look at the ways people are already protesting, what we may see once the games are under way and what you can do.

Gay activists are launching a Sochi war room in New York.

The New York Times reports:

Activists angry about a law in Russia against “homosexual propaganda” are intensifying efforts to mock and minimize the Winter Games. Some intend to operate what they call a #CheersToSochi War Room on Friday, during the NBC coverage of the opening ceremony, in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. The name refers to a hashtag in social media promoted by McDonald’s that was co-opted by protesters to the point where McDonald’s stopped using it. The war room initiative will give participants a chance to “provide alternative commentary, using Twitter, Facebook and social media networks,” an invitation on Facebook reads, and “challenge the pro-Russia, pro-International Olympic Committee and sponsor-driven messages broadcast by NBC.”

Russia has arrested four gay rights activists in St. Oetersburg.

Gay Star News reports:

Russia has made the first arrests of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested in St Petersburg today. LGBTI advocate Anastasia Smirnova led the group holding a banner, according to the Russian LGBT network. It said: ‘Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter.’ Speaking to Gay Star News, a police spokesman confirmed the arrests and said they would be held until further notice. They could answer no further questions at this time.

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Ireland: Unnamed Politician on Marriage Equality: “We’ve Had Enough of This Shit”

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Ireland - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Some of Ireland’s Fine Gael party are upset that the Prime Minister is pushing a marriage equality referendum.

Pink News reports:

Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny says he will be actively campaigning in favour of the country’s referendum on equal marriage – as an unnamed minister from his Fine Gael party is quoted as saying “we have had enough of this s**t.”

The Irish Independent reports that the outburst was over the prospect of Ireland staging another referendum on a key social issue. “We have had enough of this sh**,” said the unnamed Fine Gael minister. “We are not going again. We did the abortion, we are not f****** doing this one. We got away with the abortion one, but this referendum is guaranteed to be defeated,” the minister added.

In related news, Coca Cola, fresh off refusing to drop its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics, has instead dropped a gay wedding scene from an Irish commercial.

Gay Star News reports:

The new campaign, Reasons To Believe, shows familiar scenes intended to inspire viewers such as charity runners, cakes being baked and child choirs. In one part of the advert, the line reads ‘For every display of hatred’ – showing a gang breaking into a car – ‘there are 5000 celebrations of love’ – which shows, in many countries, a gay couple getting married. But in Ireland, the gay couple scene is replaced with an image of a young straight, interracial couple walking down the aisle.

Looks like Coke is showing its true colors.

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USA, Oregon: Nike to Support Marriage Equality

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Nike LogoNike is putting its money where its mouth is in support of a ballot initiative to legalize marriage equality in Oregon.

The Oregonian reports:

Nike announced Tuesday it supports the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative in Oregon, and that the company has created the Nike Equality PAC, a foundation to raise money in support of marriage equality. The PAC begins with $280,000: A $100,000 contribution from Nike and another $180,000 from Nike executives.

It’s fantastic that the company is throwing financial support behind the project too. Gotta trade in my old tennis shoes for some Just Do It.

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Italy: Barilla Pasta to Embrace Inclusivity – Too Little, Too Late?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

barillaAfter making headlines for his statement that he would never include a same sex family in one of his company’s commercials, President Guido Barilla appears to have had a change of heart. reports:

Said Chief Executive Officer Claudio Colzani in a press release: “Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”

The steps include:

A newly-established Diversity & Inclusion Board, comprising external experts and advocates who will help Barilla establish concrete goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company’s workforce and culture with regard to sexual orientation, gender balance, disability rights and multicultural and intergenerational issues. Individuals who have accepted positions on the Board to date include, David Mixner, a prominent global leader in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and Alex Zanardi, a Paralympic gold medalist.

Appointment of the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Talita Erickson, a Brazilian-born attorney who for the past year has served as General Counsel to Barilla America.

Participation in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) created by the U.S.-based Human Rights Campaign to measure and rate large companies on their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) employees.

Is it enough? Will you buy Barilla again?

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