Microsoft urges Washington to legalize gay marriageBreaking News, Top Highlights Friday, January 20th, 2012
If the greatest companies are defined by their employee assets, then Microsoft can be considered the quintessential frontrunner. The megacorporation has joined forces this week with other five other businesses including Nike to support the legalization of gay marriage in Washington state – the hub for all things Microsoft.
In a letter addressed to Governor Chris Gregoire, the companies wrote, “We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
On its official blog, Microsoft expands on the thought, explaining:
At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest asset.
As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. Employers in the technology sector face an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent. Despite progress made in recent years with domestic partnership rights, same-sex couples in Washington still hold a different status from their neighbors. Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.
Microsoft has been an open ally for the LGBT community after opposing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year – the unfair legislation that only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman. Microsoft also dropped out of a marketing campaign which was later found to be indirectly funded by anti-gay groups.
But the move is not entirely celebrated by all Washingtonians. Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, believes Microsoft is moved strictly by “bullying tactics” from those who support LGBT equality, the Seattle Times is reporting.
“I think it’s totally inappropriate for a company to take this position,” he said. “They are a software company, not a PAC, and the only reason they take a position and essentially stick a finger in the eye of their customers is that they think life would be too miserable if they don’t.”
According to the official blog, Microsoft aims to support same-sex marriage ultimately because it is good for business and the economy, adding: “Inclusiveness is therefore a fundamental part of our values, and is integral to the company’s business success.”
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