The Microsoft Corporation, at the forefront of corporate gay rights for decades, is coming under fire from gay rights groups, politicians and its own employees for withdrawing its support for a state bill that would have barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Stranger.com Article
CNN Money Article
US Newswire Article
Seattle Times Article
Thank you so much to AmericaBlog for providing updates on this outrage and for providing a Microsoft contact list.
I have emailed this letter to the complete Mirosoft contact list and I would encourage all those who support civil rights for everyone including the homosexual community to write Microsoft and insist on an answer.
TO: The now anti-gay Microsoft Corporation
FROM: A former Microsoft customer, and an outraged lesbian
I want an answer and I think that is the least you can do. So, I begin by requesting a response explaining the shocking position Microsoft has taken with regard to House Bill 1515.
It is one thing to be forced to cope with the wanton discrimination from those you know to be hostile enemies of civil rights, but to feel the blow from a friend is so egregious. You have happily accepted the praise and accolades from the homosexual community (and still do on your website) while slinking in quietly and under cover to pull your support when it was needed the most. You, monolithic Microsoft, set the corporate bar and wield enormous influence. You have now stated, in resounding voice that you will use that power to help send the homosexual community back into the "ALL RIGHTS DENIED" box of the extreme religious right.
I will say that I am not really buying that this ultra-extreme evangelist coerced Microsoft into such a far-reaching decision. Oh, I think there is a lot more at play here. But tell me, what strings does this Pastor hold that you quietly allow him to proclaim his power over this software giant?
Thursday in a telephone interview, the Times reported. "I told them I was going to give them something to be afraid of Christians about," he [Pastor Ken Hutcherson] said, the report said. Dow Jones Newswires 04-22-05 0443ET Copyright (C) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
That must be quite embarrassing. Microsoft, afraid of an evangelical pastor? When the reasons for that come out, it should be interesting indeed.
What could you have been thinking?
Does MS really have that little understanding of the value of the gay/lesbian buying demographic?
Does MS really believe it is even remotely possible for them to take a hit as a result of their support for gays and lesbians? They are hardly hurting and looking for lost dollars or areas in their branding that pack a punch to their reputation.
The likelihood is more that you have your back scratched by political powerhouses, controlled by the religious right. The stakes in this political debate are very high right now. And basically the bottom line became..."hey, we will placate gays and lesbians and the civil rights movement as long as it doesn't cost us anything".
Gays and Lesbians, like most micro segmented demographic groups are fiercely loyal and I believe by everything in me, you will feel the power of your now ostracized, former loyalists.
I am sure it goes without saying that I will be pulling all MS products from my personal use, its use in my small business, its use by my clients who value my software recommendations, and its use by my friends and family.
I want an answer.