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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 01:46 PM
Original message
Gay group wants award back from Microsoft
Microsoft's public-relations troubles intensified yesterday as news spread that the company had withdrawn support for state legislation banning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The legislation, House Bill 1515, was voted down Thursday by a single vote in the state Senate, prompting frustration and anger that continued to build yesterday among some gay-rights activists.

The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center asked Microsoft yesterday to return an award it gave the company in 2001, saying the company is no longer worthy of its highest corporate honor. The center had given Microsoft its "corporate vision award," which it bestows on one company every year.

Also yesterday, national lobbying group Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to Microsoft expressing disappointment with the company.

More at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnolog...
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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ah, chasing the wrong dog at the wrong time
The award was given to MSFT in 2001. MSFT was progressive before other companies in providing bennies to the GLBT community.

Asking to rescind the award 4 years later is counterproductive to the real problem.

We need to instead stand up to the bigots who are bullying MSFT and potentially other companies.
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree.
It makes the GLBT community look petty rather than getting to the roots of the problem.
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SnowBack Donating Member (335 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Seems to be MS who look pretty petty to me... (n/t)
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. No, MS isn't petty...
It's weak. It seems they caved to PR. If they'd been the ones to voluntarily hand back the award I'd start to call them petty.
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ianrs Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. it may
not be petty to cave in to pressure (not PR, pressure)and then try and cover up one's reasons, but how about weasely?

Or cowardly?

Or treacherous?
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
56. Oh yeah, I'll go with all three of those.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. Rubbish
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 06:52 PM by JoFerret
...how can standing up for basic rights ever be petty?
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #38
57. It can certainly be perceived that way.
Asking for a four year old award back can certainly be perceived as petty. I may sympathize with why they wan't to do it, but I'm also sensitive to public opinion.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah, but
let them have a little public relations nightmare for a few weeks. Microsoft has thousands of gay employees. They will make themselves heard on this one. Expect a full about face shortly.
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ianrs Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. the bill has fallen
so it would be a full after the fact about face. My favourite kind.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Didn't if fail by one vote?
It'll come back next session. And probably pass.

Gay rights in this country is a foregone conclusion. Just as integration was. The only questions is how much kicking and screaming the fundies have left in them over the next few years.
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ianrs Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. am British
and so live in a society that exhibits demonstrable social AND political progress in this area. I wish I could be as sanguine as you about life for my brothers and sisters in the States. The Freepers are Senators and Presidents, not just loonies on a message board.
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. From what I understand about state law...
It'll come back next session. And probably pass.

...it can't be re-introduced for two years, after the next election. And, to be honest, I see Republicans making big gains at the state house level in 2006. (People are very angry about some of the tax increases the Dems just passed, and for good reason. With gas at an all-time high, they decide to increase the gas tax by almost ten cents a gallon! What on earth were they thinking???)

In any event, I would be amazed if, the next thime this bill is introduced, it doesn't face a legislature controlled by the G.O.P...probably with a bunch of new, suburban, religious-right types.

Sadly, this was probably the best chance to pass a gay-rights bill for about a decade...only to fail because of a couple of DINOs.

:-(

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ianrs Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. thanks (and yuck)
Always very useful and interesting to get the local political perspective. Is it likely that this potential resurgence of the right in the state one of the reasons microsoft seem to be cosying up to them? I can't fathom it otherwise.
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SnowBack Donating Member (335 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. NO, the REAL problem is
that Microsoft decided that the rights of Gays and Lesbians are DISPOSABLE...

They deserve a boycott. Notice the word WAS progressive... They get lobbied by some evangelical Christian group who hate Gays and Ballmer says that they "have to listen" to "both sides" of social issues and not support one side or another...

So I guess they can't support rights for the Jewish community because the Nazi's need to be listened to...

Or they have to listen to "both sides" about supporting the African American community by listening to the KKK...

Give me a break...

:puke:
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Exactly.
That's not being petty, that's being expedient because of short-sighted stupidity.
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Jersey Ginny Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. Microsoft got bullied?
We've all seen microsoft fight the government in the courts regarding their monopoly. I have a hard time believing they can be bullied. Microsoft does what it wants and they are solely responsible for their decision.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Of course they should ask for the award back!
Not doing so would be implicitly condoning Microsoft's failure of nerve.
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. Leaked Microsoft CEO's email confirms they're abandoning gays
This comes from TowleRoad.com, a blog run by the former editor of Genre, Andy Towle:
From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 6:40 PM
To: All Employees of MS in Puget Sound; All Employees of MS in MSUS
Subject: Microsoft and the Anti-Discrimination bill


"There have been several news stories that imply that Microsoft changed its position on an anti-discrimination bill, HB 1515, because of pressure from a conservative religious group. I want to make it clear that that is not the case."
Here is Ballmer's first mistake. Framing the issue as though it's about whether the religious right leader made Microsoft go anti-gay or whether Microsoft decided on its own to go anti-gay. Honestly, I couldn't care less WHY Microsoft decided to stop supporting gays, the fact is they DID.
"When our government affairs team put together its list of its legislative priorities in Olympia before the Legislative Session began in January, we decided to focus on a limited number of issues that are more directly related to our business such as computer privacy, education, and competitiveness. The anti-discrimination bill was not on this list and as a result Microsoft was not actively supporting the bill in the Legislature this year, although last year we did provide a letter of support for similar legislation...."

rest of the article
http://americablog.org/
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Exactly, doesn't matter why they caved, they did
And they need to take the fallout from it, including rescinding an award from several yrs ago (if that was from when it was). I expect there to be a huge outcry about this MS behavior, especially here at MS's home and company.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. It is very sad for me
to think that a company like Microsoft will give in to a bunch of bullying fundamentalist crackpots, and take away something they had previously awarded. Of course, in weighing their decision, they might have given ino the right wing clamoring because not providing benefits to same sex partners saves them money.

A company like Microsoft could hardly claim poverty, so the religious angle was one they felt they could use instead. Since the stranglehold this hateful group of people has held on all three branches of our government, and our media, life in America has become ugly, and corrupt.

One of the people dearest in the world to me is gay. He and his partner have been together many, many years, are both employed, and are people who bring happiness and warmth into my life. We have laughed together, cried together, and everything in between. To deny them ANY rights is a human issue. They are, and should be considered, no differently than any other couple.

They consider themselves married, and it is actions like Microsoft's, and many other companies, and the right wing hatemongers that cause them needless grief. We should treat gay rights as human rights. We need to stand up to these bullies and let them know that we refuse to listen to their messages of hate.

This slide into Theocracy is dangerous, and I'm afraid that it's going to lead to some very, very unpleasant actions soon. The country has become a pressure cooker, and it's getting ready to explode.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. This won't be a popular opinion
But if we don't want religious groups intimidating Walmart on birth control pills or Playboy, then gay groups shouldn't intimidate Microsoft on this legislation. It's the same thing. Which isn't to say gay activist groups shouldn't lobby Microsoft for direct employee benefits, that's pertinent. I thought we were for getting religion and corporate power out of government. Seems to me we shouldn't have our activist groups pushing them to get back in.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. They can battle Walmart or Playboy if they want
and other groups can battle back. i see nothing wrong.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. At least that's fair
It's the expression of outrage at religious groups, when our groups do the same thing, that gets me.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #34
48. Why? We are allowed to get outraged at bigotry. That does not mean
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 08:40 PM by sonicx
we want to force them to stop. The gay rights groups have no power to do that if they wanted to, anyway.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. Corporate interference in legislation
I still say if one doesn't want religious groups pressuring corporations on legislative issues, we shouldn't do it either. I see outrage about that interference regularly.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. This is why we lose, time after time . . .
The fundies threatened to boycott MSFT if they supported the bill. There was no-one there threatening MSFT if they didn't support the bill.

It's nice that we don't like to use pressure tactics to win. It's too bad our enemies are willing to use anything they can against us.

We are in a culture war. There are people dieing - not just Brandon Teena and Matthew Shephard and the hundreds of others like them - but thousands of lives are ruined and damaged because of the ever more outrageous RW bigotry.

Many liberals think that victory for our side is just around the next election. After all, we are the good guys, right?

Wrong. Culture wars don't end until one side completely destroys the other. Almost always the right destroys the left in these wars. They are the true believers whose God is on their side. They control the money and the weapons and pretty much the whole economy.

If we are not willing to do whatever is necessary to defeat them - then we will lose - and we deserve it. We'll probably lose anyway. The question is do we want to go down by giving up, as you suggest - or fighting them for every inch of dignity they try to take from us - and making them pay dearly for it.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Really well said.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. that post was beautiful.
n/t
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Incredibly True
Let's add 19 year old Rashawn Brazill to the list of dead gay men.
17 year old Sakia Gunn to the list of murdered lesbians.

Let's not forget the 111 sexual assaults over the past 5 years on GLBT K-12 students in Washington State, including the gang rape on the 6th grader (National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, www.taskforce.org ).

It's a war. Our side needs to fight offensively. Most don't even want to see us fight DEFENSIVELY. They say two wrongs don't make a right. I say dead queers can't counter that argument.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. I understand that
But also think we've got no room to complain or cry foul when they do it, if we're doing the same thing. Or to say corporations have too much influence on government, when we're encouraging them to have influence on government.

The right is pressuring Microsoft, but gay groups have apparently been doing that for some time now. So it's a natural reaction by the right, not a foul. And so yes, gay and liberal groups will have to fight back.

It would be nice to fight these culture wars by taking it direct to the people, and having the people put the pressure on the politicians. I'm just sick of corporations having more power than people.
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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. I ask that you please back up this statement:
The right is pressuring Microsoft, but gay groups have apparently been doing that for some time now.

I've seen no evidence that gay groups have pressured Microsoft into offering the domestic partner benefits or support for state non-discrimination laws that the company has previously offered. Microsoft has long been considered a voluntarily progressive company on GLBT matters, which is why they were recognized with an award. Now that Microsoft has decided to stop offering the support to state issues that they have in the past, gay groups have a right to know why Microsoft is changing (rescinding, "neutralizing", whatever) their long-standing, "award-winning" policy.

I fail to see how gay groups demanding an explanation for this change in policy is at all equivalent to wingers making boycott threats to stores when those stores refuse to stop selling products that have been offered as long as the products have been available for sale. (Besides, if anyone wants to organize a boycott of Walmart, for whatever reason, who am I to argue?)

I agree with your statement about the imbalance of power in government between people and corporations, and the people must assert themselves more forcefully in government. But within the reality that power is rooted in money, I don't think the people stand much chance of reclaiming political power unless they also make equivalently loud demands upon the corporations that already control so much financial and political capital.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. If I'm wrong, I"m wrong
It just seems unlikely to me that the Microsoft Board woke up one day and said "let's give gays partner benefits". Especially considering the employee lawsuits and employee practices they were long known for. It seems to me there must have been a gay employees group, or something, petitioning Microsoft to make these changes. And some group to bring the legislation to their attention in years' past. Seems logical to conclude it might be the group that gave them the award.

Now, if none of that is right, and everything Microsoft has done for the gay community sprung from them without any solicitation whatsoever, then I'm wrong.

But I highly doubt it. So the gay community shouldn't be surprised, outraged or offended, when religious groups exert pressure too.

Since we're on that path, and it's the PATH I object to, then the gay community has to respond.

I just wish we weren't on that path and that we would stop encouraging corporations to get involved with legislation at all.
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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. In this particular case, you're wrong
The reason the award was given was because the company "'set a high standard for others by exhibiting leadership in advancing the cause of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual equality,' said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings ... At the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Centers 30th Anniversary Gala in 2001, Microsoft was honored because the company had been a leader in opposing anti-gay initiatives, was one of the first companies to offer domestic partnership benefits and include sexual orientation in its corporate non-discrimination policy, and has supported AIDS and GLBT organizations across the country."

The fact is that Microsoft has been a leader on GLBT issues because it makes good business sense to have progressive corporate policies that make an organization attractive enough to hire and retain the best and brightest employees. By changing that policy, they produce a ripple effect as smaller companies and other industries look to the decisions that large players like Microsoft are making. I can't say that gay groups have never tried to exert pressure over Microsoft's political agenda. I'm sure groups on all sides have tried. But I can say that regardless of any external pressures, Microsoft by most all accounts has, to date, been a committed leader in GLBT issues as is demonstrated by their internal policies, their history of political efforts to fight discrimination, and by the words of gay Microsoft employees past and present.

Again, I reiterate our shared wish for limits on corporate intervention in government matters, but I also point out the reality that corporations are already heavily invested in the political process, and that reclaiming influence for the people will require far more pressure than our wishes alone can offer.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. They didn't change policy
That would be worthy of direct response. I didn't read that they'd changed any corporate policy in that article. And what you quoted doesn't say that Microsoft wasn't petitioned to offer benefits in the first place either.

The article said they didn't back a piece of legislation that they backed last year. That's what I'm specifically referring to. Nobody should be surprised or cry foul when religious groups get involved with corporations and the political process, unless they're willing to stop pressuring corporations to get involved in legislative issues as well.

Reality is what it is. Gay groups certainly can't unilaterally change the process. But I sure wish somebody would take the first step.
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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. They did change policy
specifically in regard to this piece of legislation, and Microsoft is engaging in dishonest word play when they try to claim otherwise. Ballmer's email stated, "The anti-discrimination bill was not on this list {of legislative priorities} and as a result Microsoft was not actively supporting the bill in the Legislature this year, although last year we did provide a letter of support for similar legislation...."

The email doesn't mention that they had provided a letter of support not just last year, but for many years before that. Nor does it mention that word did not trickle down to employees who on February 1 testified in front of the house State Government Operations and Accountability committee that DeLee Shoemaker, the man responsible for state-level government affairs for Microsoft, had already written a letter in support this year.

Even if Microsoft did not have a history of offering letters of support for this legislation for many years, it is still a change in corporate policy to offer a letter of support for the bill one year and not to offer the same letter of support for the same bill the following year (just because the corporate policy is in regards to a governmental policy doesn't make the corporate policy fundamentally any less corporate). Call it a change, call it "neutralization" as Microsoft does, whatever. The fact is that the support was there in previous years and it was not there this year.

It does not matter whether or not Microsoft was petitioned, what matters is the actions the company takes. In the past the company has taken actions that have won them awards from progessive organizations, and now they are no longer taking those same actions.

What do you suggest is "the first step in changing the process"?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. business employee policy
That's what I mean, they haven't changed that. Seems to me they deserve the same credit that they always got for that. I'd like to see gay activist groups continue praising them for that. What's that bible verse, "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head." Maybe you didn't want to hear a bible verse, but there could be some merit in giving Microsoft a good dose of shame by praising them while they're being cowards.

Figure out how to market a "free from corporate influence" campaign of some sort. Differentiate yourselves, Too Proud to Pander (to corporations) or beg anymore, or something.

And I still think tons and tons and tons of sad family sob stories. And taxpayer stories, Joe paid $15,000 in taxes last year, but, he can't, bla bla bla. I'm telling you, people do not know. A full page ad in the Seattle Times isn't enough.

To me, your fight is like a drip of water on a stone. Eventually it wears a hole in the stone. But it has to be a constant drip. It's too easy for people to put their defenses back up, unless it's in their face, all the time. The face of the people, because really, WE should rise to your defense. You shouldn't be in this all alone. And WE aren't, which means WE don't really get it yet. Getting through to the people is more important than Microsoft.

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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. I prefer the strategy
of shaming Microsoft by pointing out that they have consistently been progressive in their policies - and praised for it appropriately - in the past, and now they are being cowards by not renewing their support for a statewide nondiscrimination law. I think that giving them praise for which they are undeserving is a passive-agressive strategy that clouds the issue for the general public.

It's also important not to confuse the struggle for this specific piece of legislation with the struggle to rein in corporate influence in governmental affairs. Both are important progressive causes that I support, but the latter is a much larger and less-defined battle than the former, and as such will require different strategies and timelines. In any case, I hope you will take action in support of both causes. :hi:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. Nice chatting
And yes, we're having some fights here in Oregon, people trying to go backwards. I am supportive of the anti-dicrimination/civil union bill here. And I hope it is fought by going direct to the people, without corporate influence.
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ianrs Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. microsoft
play an active political role. Hitherto that role has been largely positive as respects gay rights. They take a policy decision to reverse that, gay groups protest, and you call that intimidation? It seems that unless one plays the game by the rules that currently obtain, one ends up playing with oneself, and if religion and corporations ARE in government, then they must be proper targets for pressure, lobbying, intimidation, if you will, though such a value-laden term strikes me as unusual in the context of one of the most influential organisations on the planet.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. You are right. It's asinine.
What in God's name what corporate benefits that are lobbied for internally, have to do with the world outside the Microsoft front door that are not directly linked? So Microsoft can give your partner benfits, but go try to get an apartment with him and you are told to take a hike?

So you want gay groups to play nice inside Microsoft, but God forbid they open their mouth like the RW/Fundies have the ability to do at any time, about any topic, for their own agenda.

We are not playing by grandpa's rules here. You think some person sitting somewher is thinking..."How nice of those gay people, being screwed like that and all, and they just are so accepting; a matter of fact I am going to rethink my whole opinion on gays, just because of that."

Dream on.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. I'm talking about legislation
And said that in my post. Some people must have missed it. We shouldn't complain about corporate influence in government when we're pressuring them to get involved ourselves.

It's right to pressure Microsoft to give partner benefits. It's right to pressure government to pass equal rights laws.

It's not right to pressure Microsoft to pressure government, and then have a tizzy fit and become insulted when another group ends up with more influence than yours. Better to have kept Microsoft out of influencing government from the beginning.

Just what I think, so shoot me.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #32
47. Again, the other groups can do whatever they want.
And so can ours. Disliking other groups doesn't meant we want to force them stop. It means we disapprove of what they stand for. If a bunch of gay-hating bigots does some big anti-gay rally, you can be damn sure that DU will bash them. But that doesn't mean liberals aren't going to do their own pro-gay rallies.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
30. Huh?
If we don't want religious groups petitioning to take away liberties (such as access to legally prescribed medicine), we shouldn't let Microsoft know we think they blew it here by caving into those religious groups? If we don't want religious groups intimidating companies such as Microsoft, we shouldn't tell Microsoft we are disappointed they gave into that religous intimidation? And you see this as having an activist group pushing to get religion and corporate power back into government? I don't get your reasoning here.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. More than that happened
Microsoft supported legislation previously. You think that happened out of thin air? You think gay groups didn't encourage that legislative support?

So now that religious groups are doing the same thing, it's somehow outrageous of them?

I don't get it. I don't get how it's good for one group to advocate corporate influence in government and an outrage for another group to do it.

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. I understand what you are saying
but I think we have moved way past that.
The rabid right are going to get involved regardless of what we do or don't do, and for us to do nothing is simply sending a message of apathy at best, or at worst, of agreement with their position.
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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. Of course it didn't happen out of thin air.
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 07:50 PM by jono
It happened because Microsoft knows that it makes good business sense for their organization to take such a position. There are far more DU types working at Microsoft's Redmond campus than there are Freeper types. I don't believe that Microsoft has staked these positions out of good conscience, I think they have done so for pragmatic business reasons.

It doesn't seem to make business sense for Microsoft to make a change in policy like this. Sure, Freepers and Fundies are using MS's browser and OS, but they're not generally the ones buying the products and services where Microsoft really makes money - things like developer applications, subscriptions, books, training classes, and certifications - and they're not the majority of employees here. Liberals are! That's why Microsoft has been recognized as being a leader in progressive corporate policies, and why it's so disappointing that they would stand down from that commendable past support.

From what I can tell, no one is outraged that a religious leader tried to influence Microsoft. I for one am outraged that Microsoft has withdrawn their long-standing progressive policy of supporting a statewide nondiscrimination bill, regardless of whether or not it was the result of pressure from Hutcherson, especially when it seems to make no business sense for them to do so.

edit: sorry to use "business sense" so much but I can't think of another term.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Power has its privilege
I suppose when there's few people taking the lead on issues, it is good for a business like Microsoft to stand up and do it. I just get so tired of what feels like a corporate stranglehold.



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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
39. Ever hear of fighting fire with fire...?
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 07:41 PM by regnaD kciN
But if we don't want religious groups intimidating Walmart on birth control pills or Playboy, then gay groups shouldn't intimidate Microsoft on this legislation.

That's false logic, based on the notion that "if we play nice, the other guys will, too." Religious groups will intimidate WalMart (and everyone else), no matter what we do. However, if we don't adopt their tactics, they'll be the only ones using such pressure. And we all know what happens in a battle when only one side is doing the fighting.

We on the left have to realize that this is a street fight -- Marquis of Queensbury rules don't apply, and adhering to them unilaterally is only a good way to get our posteriors kicked. Like always.

:grr:

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. Not really
Your logic is the kind of logic that got us into Iraq. Terrorists hit us, we hit back. No further thought required. Fire with fire.

Has to be a better way to deal with extremists, of whatever sort.

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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. "Your logic is the kind of logic that got us into Iraq."
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 08:40 PM by sonicx
Actually, no. Iraq wasn't where the terrorists were.

"Terrorists hit us, we hit back."

That's not a bad idea, too bad the US hasn't done that.

"Has to be a better way to deal with extremists, of whatever sort."

What are your suggestions?
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. Reason, respect, persistency
Not attacking an organization because it won't back one piece of legislation, after everything else it has done. That's kind of like lumping everybody together, and making correlations between extremists and those who aren't. Then hitting the wrong target in the heat of a temper tantrum.



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jono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. This is not about "one piece of legislation."
This is about a fundamental shift in what Microsoft professes to be part of their core business values and what they as an organization stand for, a shift that will likely have long-term reverberations far beyond Micrsoft or Washington state if the company sticks to it.

Even so, I don't see how gay groups are being unreasonable or disrespectful. Clearly they are being persistent.
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keopeli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
54. Dear friend, you are searching for consistency...
Edited on Sat Apr-23-05 10:47 PM by keopeli
That's a noble cause, but in the end fallacious. As you strive for consistency on the point that "if we don't want religious groups intimidating Walmart on birth control pills or Playboy, then gay groups shouldn't intimidate Microsoft on this legislation," the Fundamentalist movement that is in total control of our country will eat away at all of your rights.

I'm not afraid to be inconsistent in my actions and speech, while maintaining my ideals. I'm not afraid to say that I don't want religious groups intimidating anybody, while at the same time helping to organize a PR backlash against Microsoft (which is exactly what I'm doing). I will meet with local community leaders in Seattle tomorrow at a local church to plan a course of action AGAINST Microsoft for their powerful misdeed. We have worked for 20 years for this legislation. We stood on the steps of the state capitol this year to promote this legislation. Never did we anticipate that we should have been standing at the doors of our old ally Microsoft, who would undo our tireless march for equal rights.

In my past, I stood up at Antioch Church (the church that pressured Microsoft) and lead part of the worship for that body - I know the enemy. Let me suggest to you that no little church in Kirkland, WA, has the power to persuade Microsoft. This action has Karl Rove written all over it (via his Washington State cronie, McCaw). If Microsoft were to feel no sting from this misdeed, they would likely continue in this new "neutral" vein. I will not stand still in my own country, in my own city, and allow that to happen. I oppose that Antioch Church pressured Microsoft. I oppose that Microsoft caved in to this pressure. It is MY life that is affected by their actions.

The very LAST thing that I am concerned about in the midst of this present darkness is being 'consistent.'

In the world I envision, churches will NOT have the power to threaten corporations like Microsoft because their words will fall on deaf ears. I know I have done this myself. I know it is inconsistent. But, in my vision, I win - and openly admit inconsistency to the betterment of my society and progeny. In your world, you will be able to say, "I was consistent," but you will still have lost the war. Is that really what you want?

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds - R.W. Emerson
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. Actually they would be better served if they gave them a new award
I'd call it "The Corporate Regressive Blindness Award" and make a huge deal where when it was presented you would be sure to point out that AT ONE TIME they had vision, which has now been replaced by hatred and bigotry.
This IMHO is no worse than a company that hired minorities one day deciding they won't do it anymore.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Horse, you should be working for Howard Dean . .
. . on a major salary. This is the kind of thinking that wins.

:headbang:
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Thank you for the compliment
I'd have my people contact his people, but would be afraid his people would...hang up. :silly:
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