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Microsoft Businesses Politics

Microsoft Pushes For Gay Marriage In Washington State 678

New submitter plsenjy writes "An article in the Atlantic outlines how Microsoft Corp. has submitted its support for a Washington State provision allowing gay couples to marry. Citing the company's inability to compete for top talent in the face of discrimination, Microsoft joins other firms such as Nike and Vulcan to effectively change moral policy from the top-down."
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Microsoft Pushes For Gay Marriage In Washington State

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:48PM (#38767940)

    It's accepted to show brutal violence on TV while natural things like sex is forbidden!

    What is unnatural about brutal violence? (damn nature, you scary)

  • Corporate Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sincewhen ( 640526 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:51PM (#38767974)

    This is another indication of how much power corporations have today.

    It is a shame we need big companies to take the initiative in social reform - what happened to politicians working for the people?

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:54PM (#38768014)

    ..for the same reasons some people like the opposite sex while others like the same sex? it's part of human nature. repress it and you only get more of it cropping up elsewhere, usually in unhealthy quantities.

  • Re:Corporate Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:54PM (#38768026)

    what happened to politicians working for the people?

    Read more history.

    Politicians have never worked for the people.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:00PM (#38768104)

    Not all of us subscribe to your superstition or wish to be ruled by your witch doctors.

    Marriage in a secular society is a civil union, not a superstitious rite. Gays want the benefit of civil union which is a CONTRACT they are sometimes restricted from entering.

    I'm not gay, but I'm certainly anti-theist. You are all Taliban under the skin, and just as you would take over society and establish theocracy, I advocate resistance to superstition.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:02PM (#38768122)


    50 years ago, I bet you would say that you only TOLERATE seeing people of different color, but you don't ACCEPT them as actual people with the same rights as white people.

    Please get the fuck out of my country! I bet you're religious too, so I hope you just kill yourself and go to hell.

    --from a hetro, 30yr, white, American male.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:03PM (#38768134)

    Why do people insist that we don't allow them to redefine perfectly good words that we are bigots.


    And I will even go for tolerance, but only up to a point. However what is being demanded isn't tolerance but acceptance.

    Because you're a bigot, you are unable to see why this is a problem. You're never going to understand it, so you might as well not bother trying. It would be like explaining color to a blind man.

    What is being demanded is the same rights as anyone else has - the right to marry the consenting adult of your choice. You don't have to like it, and the only acceptance that is required is that they have the same rights as you do.

  • Re:Corporate Power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:03PM (#38768138)
    Social Reform Issues tend to be counter democratic in nature.
    When there is a minority group that needs more protection, you need a powerful group to push these changes, as the majority sees the plight of the minority as not effecting them or worse their plight is in the majority self interest.
    But before you go So you think Social Reform is Anti-American, you need to remember the United States is a Democratic Republic, We are not a pure democracy, We elect Representative to make the decisions for us, and if we get good ones we get someone(s) willing to risk political backlash to do the right thing as they can see a bigger picture of the issue.

    We need companies, they make a lot of these tough decisions a little more easier because they can break down such decisions into dollars and cents.
  • by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:03PM (#38768142)

    Equally as ridiculous: the state involved in the love affairs and relationships of anyone.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:04PM (#38768172)

    The problem is that the government had no business getting into the marriage business in the first place. It used to be a religious institution, until some kings decided that they didn't like the church having all that power and decided to stick their noses into it. You see, not maintaining a good separation of church and state cuts TWO ways. Not only do you have the religions meddling in government matters which should be none of their concern, but you also have the government meddling in religious areas where *it* has no business being either.

    If marriage hadn't become a secular state institution, we wouldn't *need* to have this debate.

  • Hell, I only TOLERATE progressives, I certainly don't ACCEPT em and since 99% of gays are also progs........ you guys made my shitlist long before my gaydar went off.

    I guess it was really hard for you to justify automatically hating homosexuals right up until the point that you could say "99% of gays are also progs." Then I bet it was really easy for you to say you hate them not because they're gay but because of their political alignment (that you forced upon them).

    Well done. Well done. Say, have you ever considered that they're also human beings with different needs than you? That they just want to be recognized the same way you are by your government that supposedly espouses equal rights?

    Homosexuality is a mental defect, albeit a minor one in the bigger scheme of things.

    A mental defect you say? Are you aware that the method by which we communicate right now could not have been possible without the progress of one man who had such a mental defect [] (in more than one way)?

    Take all your political bullshit and leave. This is about the rights of human beings. Not "being progressive" or "saying 2+2=5" but about respecting your fellow citizens the same fucking way they respect you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:08PM (#38768236)

    So because I have some condition which would lead to me being less fit for purpose for breeding and passing on my genes; sterility, bad eyesight, cerebral palsey, whatever, I should be tolerated at best and not allowed to have a family because I am DEFECTIVE and some kind of ABERRATION against $DEITY/DARWIN?

    You're fortunate that our society TOLERATES your type. I'd have you LYNCHED.

    Fuck you.

  • Sounds like you want to outlaw normal marriage too, then. Oh wait. Marriage doesn't stop people from making you. You answered his question, but then threw in a red herring that's irrelevant to any argument about marriage. BTW, your'e wrong about the history of the word too. You're basically ignorant all around. It was just 1959 that a white man had to go to the supreme court to not be charged for marrying a black woman. You're ignorance is the exact same ignorance. It's pathetic. You harken back to the old days that never were. And did you ever stop to think that records of gay marriages in the past were destroyed by the church in order to keep their handhold on the institution? I mean, Catholicism destroyed whole cultures' worth of history in South America. And the act of marriage predates recorded history anyway. How the fuck do you know what went in 5000 years ago? And how the fuck is that relevant today?

    In short, you win the award for Biggest Piece Of Shit Of The Day.

  • by GodInHell ( 258915 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:13PM (#38768284) Homepage

    Yes, Corporate America just wants to treat everyone like crap, on a level playing field, regardless of race, gender . . .

    Woah now, slow your roll man. Do you know how much we SAVE every year paying women only .71-.76 cents for every dollar a man makes.


  • Re:Corporate Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:13PM (#38768296) Homepage Journal

    what happened to politicians working for the people?

    Our very own Roy Blunt was asked if he wanted to meet with some local protesters a few years ago who were asking for gay rights. He said that he "doesn't represent those people".

    Your legislators do represent the people, but not "those people".

  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:24PM (#38768422)

    I've been married for almost 14 years now. The interesting thing about marriage is this:

    The entire ceremony -- all of it, the food, the tables, the dresses, the rings, the suits, the flowers, the guests, the vows -- means absolutely nothing at all. Nothing.

    The actual marriage is when you sign the certificate and it gets countersigned and witnessed.

    So the whole kerfuffle boils down to "we don't want gays to sign a piece of paper".

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:30PM (#38768498) Journal

    1. Homosexuals can still have heterosexual relations, and many homosexuals have biological children. So your attempt to co-opt science to confirm your bigotry fails.

    2. The psychiatry and psychology communities stopped viewing homosexuality as any kind of mental or sexual defect decades ago. You can't justify your bigotry that way either.

    3. The United States guarantees equal protection under the law. Your attempt to limit the definition of marriage to justify your bigotry fails.

    I guess we're kind of left with you just being a bigot.

  • by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:33PM (#38768528)

    Equally as ridiculous: the state involved in the love affairs and relationships of anyone.

    I think this is it. The state shouldn't recognize gay marriage because it shouldn't recognize straight marriage. It should recognize civil unions gay or straight and then let whatever religion you are decide to call it marriage.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:37PM (#38768586)

    probably because these companies have a disproportionate number of rational, reasonable, pragmatic, and educated comparison to the unwashed masses.

  • by Rary ( 566291 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:50PM (#38768724)

    Wrong. Once you legally redefine the word marriage all sorts of follow on side effects begin. Tolerance ends and acceptance on pain of government begins. Catholic Church doesn't believe it is right? Tough. Won't matter once the law changes, they will give em a full church wedding and place a child in their care through their adoption agency or the Justice Dept cornholes em.

    No. No. No. No. How many times must this stupid argument be thrown around?

    Look. Right now, the Catholic Church does not allow a marriage to occur if one of the partners is divorced. Similarly, Jewish synagogues will not marry a Jew to a non-Jew. However, both of these marriages are allowed by law. In your little world, where the legal requirement is forced upon the religious institutions, how is this possible? The DOJ should've forced these types of marriages on these institutions a long, long, long time ago.

    But they didn't. Why? Because what the law allows is never, and has never been, forced upon religious institutions. If the law allows same-sex marriage, many churches will continue to disallow it, and the law will do nothing about that. Just like it always has.

    Legalizing same sex marriage has absolutely zero impact on anyone other than adult homosexuals who choose to marry their same-sex partner. It will not impact you (assuming you're heterosexual), your church, your own marriage, or anything or anyone else. And for the record, I'm writing this from a country that already allows same-sex marriage, so I'm not just speculating here, I'm describing reality.

  • by praxis ( 19962 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:52PM (#38768742)

    Microsoft was supporting of same-sex couples' equality before Google existed.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:52PM (#38768746)
    Given that I can live with multiple women, have sex with them, have children with them, and in all ways other than legal, I can be married to them. Yes, why not poly-marriage?

    The real problem is that we have a secular property partnership that has been mixed and confused with a religious ceremony. It has been suggested that gay couples should be offered an marriage equivalent. A 'civil union'. That is half the correct answer that would be all wrong if implemented alone. The real answer is to just declare ALL existing marriages to be civil unions, and remove any legal standing to "marriage". Let people make the fiduciary responsibilities of 'civil union' to whoever they want, and let the churches worry about what a 'marriage is. Each denomination can decide for themselves what a marriage is. Anyone outside of the group has no more need or requirement to acknowledge the marriage than they do a declaration of BFFs.
  • by hairyfish ( 1653411 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:54PM (#38768780)
    Pedophilia is natural too, the difference is not whether something is natural or not but whether there is a victim. Laws are meant to protect, who is being protected by preventing marriage between any two consenting adults?
  • That is exactly what they do, however instead of calling it a civil union they call it marriage. It's incredibly confusing for most people. Doubly so when the people who do the "state" marriage is performed at the same time as the "religion" marriage.

    I agree though. If you want "tax/property benefits" you get "civil unioned". If you want God to sanction you, you get "married".

  • by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:59PM (#38768816)

    So the whole kerfuffle boils down to "we don't want gays to sign a piece of paper".

    no, it's that some folks see marriage as a sacred (as in religious) vow between a man and a woman, and they think their holy doctrine tells them that homosexuality is wrong.

    of course i don't agree, but you should at least understand the viewpoint. if you get into a discussion with someone and you immediately boil it down to signing a piece of paper, or not, you aren't going to change any minds or make anyone think.

  • I am curious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brain-Fu ( 1274756 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:02PM (#38768866) Homepage Journal

    If a man has a sex-change operation and becomes a woman, can she then marry a man? Or is that still homosexual?
    And if she can't marry a man because genetically she is still a man...does that mean she can marry a woman?

    Or are post-ops only allowed to marry complementary post-ops?

    And who can hermaphrodites marry? Anyone but other hermaphrodites?

  • Re:Corporate Power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chebucto ( 992517 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:03PM (#38768888) Homepage



    How much history have you read, CrimsonAvenger?

    Cynicism like yours breeds apathy, which eases the path for the corrupt and self-interested. Simultaneously, you are letting yourself off the hook in terms of your responsibilities towards the general good.

    Shame on you.

  • anonymous blowhard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:12PM (#38768968) Homepage Journal

    Because polygamy is always about power and abuse, never about love.

    That is such utter horseshit. As if you had ANY way to read the mind of everyone in a poly relationship. Just like every other flavor of relationship, there are good poly arrangements and there are poor ones. It's not about partner count or gender; it's about being decent human beings and not a whole lot else. FYI, "decent" doesn't mean "heterosexual" or "monogamous."

  • by jackbird ( 721605 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:23PM (#38769118)

    On one hand: what's the reason two guys want to be recognized as a "marriage"? Not children, as they can't have them, and they're just as capable of raising a kid one of them had with a third party as mere friends as a couple -- it can never be "their" kid, at most of one of them. The uncomfortable truth is that they're after lowered taxes and certain other benefits meant to encourage having kids. A solo person deserves such benefits more than them.

    How about:

    Being able to visit/make medical decisions for your spouse if they are hospitalized or incapacitated.
    Being able to adopt a child together in a way that gives both parents legal parental rights in relation to their child (everything from school permission slips to keeping the child if the spouse dies)
    Being considered a spouse in legal proceedings (spousal 5th amendment immunity, inheritance laws, etc.)
    Being able to marry a foreigner without fear they will be deported

    And since when is an adopted child not the parents' kid? That's not only reprehensible, it's missing the whole point of encouraging marriages as child-rearing units. It's established that gay couples adopt kids with disabilities at a higher rate than straight couples, for example.

    Furthermore, we don't question the 80-year old newlyweds, and merely shake our heads and sigh (as opposed to foaming at the mouth about 'threats to traditional values') at celebrity marriages measurable in hours.

    We also have huge amounts of legal and social framework set up to accommodate 2-adult family units; enabling the gender bits to be flipped any which way doesn't actually change any of how things work. Opening up the system to accomodate polygamy would open huge cans of worms (an organized crime ring could all get married to each other, and be fully protected from someone turning states' evidence, for example).

  • by Wizard Drongo ( 712526 ) <[wizard_drongo] [at] []> on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:27PM (#38769186)

    No, it's about equal-status.
    In the UK, we have "gay marriage" in all but name; civil partnerships. It confers all the (very limited) financial benefits of marriage, but is only for "teh gayz".

    Our tax-code is pretty non-involved when it comes to marriage. If you'e living with someone as a partner, that's the limit - doesn't matter if you're married, civil-unioned, or anything.

    Yet, oddly (if you follow the "financial" argument), the gay community is still pushing for equal-marriage. Here in Scotland we're having a big fight over it, with the Catholic Church (amongst others) arguing it's wrong, and the equal-rights groups saying it's about damned time, and the normal, rational people being somewhere in the middle, but broadly in favour of it (since it's not about money, and just about equality, most people come down on the side of equality, not sky-wizrd voodoo).
    It's all about being treated equally, as a fair and equal member of society. I actually think that the State should have no role in marriage at all - you can make a permanent union (and break them with due solemnity) but what you call it is entirely up to you and your own personal Sky Wizard. No state involvement at all in that side of things.
    Of course, this would be painted as the deliberate destruction of marriage (even though, actually, we'd be going back to an age-old situation where marriage is a matter for the church, nothing to do with the state at all) to please the evil homosexual liberal satanists or whatever.
    TL:DR summary: dont expect reason from irrational people like the religious right. It'll just make your head hurt.

  • by lessthan ( 977374 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:22PM (#38769888)

    Taxes is a small small part of it. Marriage confers a host of other rights, like automatic next of kin. You get to say what happens to your lover's body, you get to visit them in the hospital when it is "family only," you get to make decisions for them when they are incapable. A big deal for a community that still be thrown out of the hospital by the hate-filled "in-laws."

  • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#38769922) Journal

    Who is being protected by allowing two people to get a better tax return for being married?

    Worse than that who is being better served by having corporations getting involved in debates such as this. If governments have no place in the bedrooms of their nation then corporations certainly have no business being there. Are we really getting to the point where every political debate is going to have corporations butting in, even if you actually agree with the argument they are making? Can't they at least leave us the illusion of having a meaningful public political debate without their interference and just stick to their usual tactic of lobbying/buying the legislative votes which is sadly all that counts in the end?

  • Who does it hurt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jwhitener ( 198343 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:42PM (#38770144)

    Can someone who is against gay marriage please explain their reasoning?

    I have never heard any logical reason that explains how gay marriage would harm society.

    As far as I can recall, there are many studies showing that people in committed relationships are better members of society on average. I've never seen a study that says the reverse about same sex couples.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @09:21PM (#38770620) Homepage

    As a Christian, I'm against gay marriage from a religious point of view. However as an American, I believe in the freedom of religion and association. You may even choose to not associate with anything. The problem is that marriage is a religious institution sponsored by our federal government. It's a problem because there are all sorts of legal ties to something religious in nature. The implications are huge. It means that the Federal Goverment can dictate the meaning of religious values and not the other way around. I strongly believe the best option is to abstract this union one level apart. That is to say, everyone can have a civil union which grants all the legal benefits without bias. You can still choose to have a religious merriage ceremony after the fact if you wish. Some may want just to be married withough being legally recognized too. Either way should be fair for everyone.

  • by leifb ( 451760 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:43PM (#38771470)

    As a Christian, I'm against gay marriage from a religious point of view. ...Implying that anyone who supports gay marriage is less Christian than thou?

  • by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:17AM (#38771656)

    So infertile people don't deserve to get married? People who willingly choose not to have children don't deserve to get married? I'm hearing your religious excuse machine already spinning up from here.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @12:20AM (#38771672) Homepage
    As a Christian you should more correctly say, you are opposed to gay 'Christian' marriages. It is not for you as a Christian to define what relationship contracts should be for other religions or secular marriages.

    Marriage is not a religious institution, it is a personal contract between two people, a life time commitment, recognised by religions. It actually has it's roots in war. In removing the whole village concept of shared responsibility for the children. When a King/Chief decide to launch an extended conflict he could hold a soldier's wife and children as hostage to the soldiers obedience. Also obviously some men could be denied access to women and the king could have access to many women, all based around patriarchal violence. As always religion changed and altered this relationship in many ways to suit, not belief but the requirements of the leadership of the day.

    The only thing that needs to change is people should be bound by their word, a little bit of mature adult responsibility. Make a life time commitment, then suck it up, that should be the only one you are ever allowed to make.

  • by euroq ( 1818100 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:19AM (#38771890)

    I am a gay man who wants to get married and have children.

    On one hand: what's the reason two guys want to be recognized as a "marriage"? Not children, as they can't have them, and they're just as capable of raising a kid one of them had with a third party as mere friends as a couple -- it can never be "their" kid, at most of one of them. The uncomfortable truth is that they're after lowered taxes and certain other benefits meant to encourage having kids. A solo person deserves such benefits more than them.

    1. Yes, I am after lowered taxes and certain other benefits meant to encourage having kids. Why do you say a solo person deserves such benefits more than me?

    2. Such a truth (actually, a fact among many) isn't uncomfortable to me at all. Now, mind you, there's much more to it than such benefits. The rest of your comment is getting towards that goal - that the government (specifically, the vote of 50% + 1 of a population) shouldn't have the ability to promote single mothers raising children, married couples without children or that cannot have children, divorced couples married with children from previous marriages, some sects of Christianity, etc., over other beliefs/people - such others like homosexuals with children or Christian sects who believe God loves everyone.

    3. One of the most devastating problems we gays have in this country have to do with problems of life and death at the hospital, family, inheritance, et al. See [] I really do believe those problems will be solved soon in most places because rational humans find stories like that abhorrent. (That link isn't the most abhorrent story by any means, it's just recent) The basic cause inherit in all these problems is that the government (50%+1) has defined what can be a family and what can't. If the government (50%+1) didn't define it, these discrimination problems would go away (at least de jure, not necessarily de facto).

    4. There are a whole lot of things in the government that discriminate homosexuals over heterosexuals. I won't list them all here, as you can just google it - a quick example is the right not testify against your spouse - but when you say "paying less taxes" you're quite missing the point - there shouldn't be any discrimination at all, period.

    Thus, let's go for the complement: a whole household or nothing.

    You're onto the answer. However, by doing that, you're still making the mistake that the government shouldn't make - making a decision of who can or can't be involved. I hate the fact that people dismiss that interracial marriage was illegal in this country until sometime in the 1970's - that wasn't long ago, and most Americans find it so ridiculous that the government would say it's illegal for a white person and black person to get married that they dismiss it. Well, the problem was mitigated by changing the definition of marriage at that point - instead of the government removing itself from the definition in the first place.

    The answer is to not let the government discriminate at all, nor to "define marriage" at all. It's not a states rights vs. federal thing at all - there shouldn't be any government (50%+1) that can make that choice. If there should be laws helping society procreate, then so be it - base it on people having children and not religious beliefs about what a marriage is, or enlightened beliefs about who can join such unions. Simply put, merit-based laws. Don't write anything about what a marriage is.

    I'd always think a similar pragmatic approach would help with these god awful debates about the rich and taxes and jo

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @05:48AM (#38772782) Journal

    As an atheist, I resent the fact that religious people are trying to appropriate the term "marriage". It has been a term to describe precisely such a contract as you talk about, irrespective of religion, for millenia before Christ.

    (for those curious, the etymology of the English goes all the way back to Proto-Indo-European "man", which had the same meaning it does in English today; there are no religious connotations there whatsoever).

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.