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Tech Diversity Reports Leaving Out LGBT Employees

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

FacebookRecently, various tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, have been releasing diversity reports for the first time in history. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these reports show that the majority of employees at these tech juggernauts are white and male. But perhaps the least progressive thing about these diversity reports is what they leave out: they do not report on sexuality at all, nor do they offer any gender options beside male and female.

These facts stand in contrast to tech’s huge presence in San Francisco’s pride two months ago. Reuters quoted Fred Sainz, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the Human Rights Campaign, saying of participation in the parade: “It’s a dog whistle to their consumer base that these tech firms are cool, with it, and progressive.” A former employee of both Google and Apple said, “Tech companies need to be at Pride simply to be in the game.”

The reports from these companies have come with public statements that say they are working to change these numbers. Apple’s openly gay CEO, Tim Cook, said, “As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them.”

Authored By Rebecca Ann Schuetz – See the Full Story at Dot429

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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

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.

Towleroad.com 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.

Towleroad.com 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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USA: Google Employees Speak Out for Marriage Equality in New Video

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The same team that produced Google’s ‘It Gets Better’ video have put together a great new clip for The Four, in which Google employees speak candidly about their support for marriage equality and urge people to get behind the same-sex marriage battles in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.

See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Australia: In Online Forum, Gillard Calls for Marriage Equality Conscience Vote This Year

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Australia Marriage EqualitySuicide prevention, obesity, gay marriage and the meaning of happiness were just a handful of issues the Prime Minister was quizzed on in a virtual chatroom this morning.

One of the more challenging questions came from Shane Bazzi, a 25-year-old Sydneysider who topped the poll on the OurSay.org website with more than 12,700 votes. He asked the Prime Minister to explain her opposition to gay marriage given she is as an atheist and leader of a “self-described socially progressive party”.

“I don’t think that heterosexual relationships are more valued than same-sex relationships,” the Prime Minister replied. “I think people who are in loving, commited relationships, all of those relationships should be valued. I think my relationship should be valued and I’m not married.” She said her view about gay marriage was based on its cultural status and differed from Mr Bazzi’s. “These are very individual personal perspectives on the world…This should be a conscience vote in Labor. We will have a vote on changing the marriage act by the end of the year,” she said.

Authored By Henrietta Cook – See the Full Story at smh.com.au

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Google Launches “Legalize Love” Campaign to Promote Marriage Equality

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Google and Marriage EqualityGoogle is launching a new campaign called “Legalize Love” with the intention of inspiring countries to legalize marriage for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people around the world.

The “Legalize Love” campaign officially launches in Poland and Singapore on Saturday, July 7th. Google intends to eventually expand the initiative to every country where the company has an office, and will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist.

Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe outlined the initiative at a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London earlier today. “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.

Authored By Anna Peirano – See the Full Story at Dot429

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Google Study: Filipinos First in Searches on Same Sex Marriage

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

The Philippines may be a predominantly Catholic country, but that has not curbed the Filipinos’ curiosity about same-sex marriage, which remains illegal in the country, the most recent “Insights” report by search giant Google showed.

Google’s “Insights for Search” report showed that Filipino netizens rank first worldwide in terms of searching about same-sex marriage and related queries such as “marriage laws,” “gay rights” and “gay marriage states” in June, the international Gay Pride month.

Other countries that recorded large volumes of same sex-related searches were the United States, Nigeria, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland and Malaysia.

Full Story from Inquirer.net

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Google, Microsoft, Starbucks Oppose DOMA

Friday, November 4th, 2011

StarbucksGoogle, Starbucks and Microsoft are among the 70 companies that have filed an amicus brief opposing the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars federal agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

In their filing in support of a legal challenge to the law, the companies argued that the law forces them to treat their employees differently.

“Because marriages are celebrated and recognized under state law, a federal law withholding marital benefits from some lawful marriages, but not others, creates a non-uniform rule. Employers are obliged to treat one employee spouse differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful,” the companies said in their brief.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

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Google to Pay Extra Tax on Health Benefits for Gay/Lesbian Employees

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Google Gay Health BenefitsBeginning today Google will cover the added tax charged to LGBT employees whose partners are covered by their insurance plan.

“It’s a fairly cutting edge thing to do,” said Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits department of McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm in Chicago, and author of “Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide.”

Google is not the first company to make up for the extra tax. At least a few large employers already do. But benefits experts say Google’s move could inspire its Silicon Valley competitors to follow suit, because they compete for the same talent.

Full Story from Joe.My.God

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