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Google Challenging Proposition 8

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-being-evil dept.

Google 1475

theodp writes "Coming the day after it announced layoffs and office closures, Google's California Supreme Court filing arguing for the overturn of Proposition 8, which asks the Court not to harm its ability to recruit and retain employees, certainly could have been better timed. Google's support of same-sex marriage puts it on the same page with Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft's man in Silicon-Valley, who joined other tech leaders last October to denounce Prop 8 in a full-page newspaper ad. But oddly, Microsoft HR Chief Mike Murray cited religious beliefs for his decision to contribute $100,000 to 'Yes On 8', surprising coming from the guy who had been charged with diversity and sensitivity training during his ten-year Microsoft stint. "

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Steve Jobs plans "most unique" death ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485173)

ANUS News
January 15, 2009

Steve Jobs plans "most unique" death ever
AIDS demise to have innovative interface

CUPERTINO, California (NNN) - Steve Jobs, the polymath CEO and star evangelist of Apple Computer, Inc., publically announced a medical leave of absence from the company, but in private promised "the best AIDS death ever" from the affliction no one will publically recognize he has.

As HIV-positive test results leaked onto the web from the last five years of Jobs' fight for health and secrecy, former lovers raced to the clinics on Segways looking for solace. Unflappable as always, Jobs vowed to make the best of the situation.

"There's AIDS deaths, and then there's AIDS deaths," Jobs said in his strident baritone with a slightly ironic lisp. "As with all Apple products, my demise from pneumonia brought on by full-blown AIDS will be poignant, witty, ironic, aesthetically pleasing and have an interface that breaks new ground for the industry."

Turning to a reporter he said, "That's off the record. Officially, my hormones are unbalanced because I did not care enough about Darfur." On the news of Jobs' leave, Apple stock plunged $7.38 as people feared the cool had left their Macs, but then rebounded by almost four points once rumors of HIV-death leaked.

"If Christ were to die today, he'd die of AIDS," said Jared Hvitles, who has owned four Macs, three iPods, an iPhone and a Steve Jobs Picking Up a Quarter blow-up doll. "He's going out like he's lived, as a Christ for the new millenium -- with a better interface."

About ANUS:

The American Nihilist Underground Society advocates nihilism, or a removal of interpretive layers from our perception of physical reality, as a means of transcending illusion. Nihilism denies value and purpose, which are byproducts of the human desire to judge reality and make a consensual "social reality" that by seizing on a single material factor misses the intelligible, or design-based, knowledge we need to adapt to reality. ANUS has been promoting nihilism since 1987.

http://www.anus.com/ [anus.com]

About Nihilism:

Nihilism is the belief that nothing we perceive has Absolute value; reality exists, but beyond its inherent meaning to us as the physical container of our existence, it has no significance outside of what we perceive. "The world is my representation," indeed. When we strip away all of the values projected onto physical reality and its outcomes, we are left only with personal ideal and natural ideal, and bringing the former into adaptation with the latter is the lifetime task to which nihilism is a gateway.

http://www.nihil.org/ [nihil.org]

Copyright © 1988-2009 mock Him productions [anus.com]

I don't get it (3, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485177)

why could the timing have been better? how are the two related?

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485229)

Google is claiming it's bad because it makes it harder to hire [gay] people, but it just laid off a bunch of people so it's not doing any hiring anyway.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485371)

Well just because they laid off people it doesn't mean they are not hiring. In a changing economy you need people with different skill sets. And most people can't or are not willing to adjust to the different jobs.

For example are you willing to quit your tech job, and do a marketing job for less money. or would you rather loose your job in hopes of finding an other one.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485869)

How does this law hurt Googles ability to hire? seriously? Does this law prevent Google from giving same sex partner benefits?

Under the guise of 'hurts hiring' one could wax a whole bunch of laws that should be in place. Laws *dont* exist to serve corperate interest... okay, okay laws *should* not exist to serve corperate interest.

Re:I don't get it (5, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485407)

Unless Google is marrying them, I don't see how that works.

I mean, that old joke about being married to your job... it's only a joke.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485461)

simple, where would you rather work? Company A where your marriage is legal, you get benefits and tax breaks for that... or Company B where you and your husband/wife are legally "just good friends".

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485673)

Company A where your marriage is legal

Google didn't pass the law. Google also isn't confined to California [google.com]:

Google has offices around the globe, from Bangalore to Zurich, but regardless of where we are, we nurture an invigorating, positive environment by hiring talented, local people who share our commitment to creating search perfection and want to have a great time doing it.

In other words, if you live in California, the law is the law. Don't blame Google for it. In fact, if you feel like you're forced to move because of the law, you could probably ask to be transferred to another Google location.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485879)

who's blaming google? But damned if I'm going to live somewhere where my marriage may or may not be legal. Any company from that state would have to work a LOT harder then those in states/countries where I don't need to worry about stuff like that.

and that is their point. To attract GLBT employees to their Cali locations they need to offer FAR more then other companies do.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485653)

Gay people living in other states may not want to move to California to work for Google, if they know they won't be able to marry someone of the same sex there. Google doesn't care whether they're gay as long as it doesn't affect their work; Google just wants to hire the best people, and if the best people happen to be gay and turn down the job because of Prop 8, then Google has to settle for someone else.

Obviously not all gay people would balk at moving to California because of Prop 8. I know a straight couple who have been living together in California for about 10 years now, and they don't seem to have any interest in getting married, even though they certainly could. Also, not all of the best people that Google could hire are gay (I'm sure most aren't), but as long as the numbers are above zero, it's a potential issue for the company.

Re:I don't get it (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485831)

Gay people living in other states may not want to move to California to work for Google

They don't have to [google.com].

Browse U.S. openings

        * California - Irvine
        * California - Mountain View
        * California - San Francisco
        * California - San Bruno (YouTube)
        * California - Santa Monica
        * Colorado - Boulder
        * Georgia - Atlanta
        * Illinois - Chicago
        * Iowa - Council Bluffs
        * Massachusetts - Boston/Cambridge
        * New York - New York
        * North Carolina - Lenoir
        * Oregon - The Dalles
        * Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh
        * South Carolina - Charleston
        * Texas - Austin
        * Washington - Seattle/Kirkland
        * Washington D.C.
        * Multiple locations (includes telecommuting)

Re:I don't get it (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485435)

Which isn't even necessarily true. Google just laid off a bunch of people who presumably were not performing up to spec, but if an all-star programmer applied, they'd be foolish not to hire them.

Admittedly, I've felt Google hiring has been kind of foolish for a while, though :)

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485803)

Yes - but have they seen this:
http://littlurl.com/au5sq

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485233)

Yeah, same here. I don't see how this affects their ability to hire anyone, gay or straight. Prop 8 is bullshit, but this doesn't seem to have any real relation to it.

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485291)

Gay's will be reluctant to move to california

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485345)

Yeah, instead they'll move to one of all those other states where the voters have approved gay marriage.

Oh wait...

Re:I don't get it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485437)

As a gay software engineer, I would be a lot more interested in moving to Massachusetts or Connecticut partially because they allow for same-sex marriage.

Re:I don't get it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485561)

So how are you enjoying Leopard?

Re:I don't get it (0, Troll)

santiagoanders (1357681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485669)

As a supporter of Proposition 8, I would be a lot more interested in moving to a state that does not allow for same-sex marriage.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485893)

And the rest of us would be happy for bigots like you to leave. I suggest going one further and leave the country.

Re:I don't get it (1)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485613)

Yea, this is bullshit. There aren't any tech companies in Massachusetts that Google is competing with for employees. None at all.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485735)

Bullshit. Try working at Google for a while. It's got turn-over. You get burnt out and find a job elsewhere were you don't work 16 hour days.

Re:I don't get it (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485425)

So Google doesn't hire anyone who lives outside California?

Re:I don't get it (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485551)

Many of Google major offices are in California though. As well California is where a lot of Tech people go for work. Pop 8 will spread gay tech people outside of California into other states/countries which are more accepting which may not be strong tech sector community where it isn't profitable to put locations in such areas. They are a minority group but say adding 2% extra to your hiring pool is better then loosing 2% of your pool.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485745)

if laws that govern industry can allow dumping in lakes and poluting the air, they can allow the gays to get married if it's good for buisness

not that i'm equating the two, just making an illustration on how cooperate law ignores all else and might even be used for good

Wait... (4, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485203)

So are they being evil here or not? I'm confused.

depends (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485279)

If you're one of those dumbshit gay hating jesusbots, I guess that's evil.

But really, if Jesus were to come back today and see what those guys were calling a religion based on his teachings, he'd be totally fucking pissed.

No. (1)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485473)

The argument is more than a little weird and weak in the current climate, but what exactly would be wrong with taking a position with respect to the proposition?

Depends (5, Interesting)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485497)

So are they being evil here or not? I'm confused.

That depends. If you are against gay marriage, they are evil.

I don't get it. Of all the things going on in the World today, I don't get why this is such a hot issue. Actually, I don't get why folks are so opposed to it. It doesn't cause them any harm.

That's pretty much what the problem is with social value "problems" in this country: people sticking their noses in other people's business. Two people of the same sex getting married doesn't harm me. A person marrying a goat doesn't harm me. But yet, some people think the World will come to an end of two people of the same sex get married. So what? What harm does it cause you?! (I'm not speaking to the parent) What, you're afraid your little snowflake will see two people of the same sex kissing each other and think , "Hmmmmm, I'll kiss my buddy Rod!" Again, so what? In many cultures, heterosexual MEN kiss each other. In our culture, heterosexual women kiss each other. So, again, so what?

Oh wait, your religious book doesn't like it...ooohhhhhh. Which part? The 'Old' part that I think is just Jewish Myth or the 'New' part that's completely loving and forgiving of all folks?

If it weren't happening I would think it were a script from a Twilight Zone episode. You know, where it's set up where folks hate each other for completely ridiculous reasons to show a point of the script writers. In the old days it was Rod Serling - a Goddamn genius.

Re:Depends (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485847)

In California, civil unions have the same protection/rights as marriage. The gay community is not denied any rights or privilages. They want marriage because (1) its the common term in legal documents, so it could exclude rights by mistake (2) a social perspective.

The Jewish definition of marriage has been defined for thousands of years. It has a meaning at both the church and state level, which is the problem. Many people do not like the government redefining a religious term. An overwhelming majority of anti-gay marriage voters are for a separation of the terms and the granting of equal rights, but this is not acceptable by the gay community. This makes it messy, hence the majority voting for Prop8.

P.S. I voted for Prop8, live in Bay Area, had gay teachers/classmates/friends, etc. If the government would stop using the term marriage, I would have voted for 100% equality.

Proposition 8 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485213)

For us non-Americans, is this the one about gay marriage?

--LOCK THE CASH BOX

Re:Proposition 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485741)

LOCK THE CASH BOXXXY

Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (2, Insightful)

dch24 (904899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485249)

I'll get modded down in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485339)

Were aware that hes LD.......Oh I didnt see the S.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485357)

I don't know why you would get modded down for that, since it's true. I find the LDS church's actions regarding Prop 8 to be highly inappropriate. I was a member of that church for a long time, and although they were clearly very conservative, they never made a real effort to influence voting on any particular issue since the ERA amendment in the 70s. That they would go so far to defeat this particular bill, in my mind, puts them in the same category as those evangelical churches who were telling their parishioners that voting Democrat would endanger their immortal souls.

In my opinion, churches that take stances on political issues like that should lose their tax-exempt status, as the clause under which they are tax exempt clearly prohibits political activism.

its hard to remove politics from religion (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485593)

its also hard to remove religion from politics

they both play at the game of social mores and laws

i'm not making an argument against you, i am in fact extending it by saying that all churches should have their tax exempt status revoked, regardless. and they should have never been tax exempt in the first place

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485611)

In my opinion, churches that take stances on political issues like that should lose their tax-exempt status, as the clause under which they are tax exempt clearly prohibits political activism.

The problem is, this isn't really a political issue, it is a social issue. I'm certainly not saying I agree with them, I was very dissapointed when my home state passed a law similar to prop 8 a few years ago.

IMHO, marriage is a personal (and sometimes religious) choice, and as such the government should just stay out of it. I don't know where religios people get off trying to tell gay people that they don't have the right to share insurance, file taxes together, and visit each other in the hospital; which are about the only rights being legally married entitles you to anyway.

Just change the wording in all the laws from marriage to civil union and be done with it. If you want to get married, go to a church that will marry you, but don't expect the government to recognize it, and that goes for both straight and gay couples. If you want the rights legally married people currently have, go fill out the paperwork for a civil union at the courthouse, and that also goes for both straight and gay couples.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485739)

Just change the wording in all the laws from marriage to civil union and be done with it.

Too complicated. Just let any two adults get married (modulo consanguinity or whatever). Marriage is something that most be recognized across state lines, while civil union is not. How'd you like for some california couple to go to utah and, when one of them ends up in the hospital, be told that he has to leave because he isn't legally a spouse? That's like blacks on the 60s who couldn't stay at a motel for fear of being murdered.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485891)

As long as marriage confers legal rights it is a political issue, there is no getting around that.

Personally I agree with you about civil unions, I used to espouse that view myself, but then I tried to imagine being the politician who puts this piece of legislation on the table.

The next day on Rush: Politician X is trying to pass a law to outlaw marriage! Conservatives everywhere must ban together to end his career and preserve the sanctity of the American marriage.

It would be career suicide.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485639)

The LDS church doesn't try to influence politics in the realm of economy, war, labor laws, taxes, etc (many things that directly effect the actual organisation that is the church). There is only one area that the church gets in politics for, and that is things regarded as a threat to the family, which is most important to the church. That is definitely not the same as denouncing an entire political platform. And frankly same sex marriage is a religious issue that has proded its way into politics because of the way government deals with marriage. A church shouldn't lose tax-exemption over a religious issue.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485657)

A church should lose tax exempt status anyway, but if it's something you can vote on then it's a political issue.

Here's an idea (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485795)

Focus on your own damn family.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485675)

In my opinion, churches that take stances on political issues like that should lose their tax-exempt status, as the clause under which they are tax exempt clearly prohibits political activism.

As someone who has done treasury work for a tax-exempt ecclesiastical organization (aka a 'church'), I can tell you that churches can't take stances on specific ballot initiatives or political candidates.

What they can say is things like 'We don't believe in gay marriage and we think nobody should support legislation or political candidates that support gay marriage' or 'Most of our members tell us that they won't be voting for Proposition 8'.

It's a fine line, but technically what they can't say is 'We do not support Prop 8'.** But, they can say anything just short of that.

** Note that this is only an example and I realize that Prop 8 is not a ballot issue at this point, so at this point they can say/do whatever they want WRT Prop 8 specifically.

Re:Mike Murray is LDS (mormon) (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485387)

That means that obviously he must be excluded if you want to have diversity.
Everyone knows that the only way to have diversity is to exclude members of LDS or other organizations that believe something contrary to the accepted standard.

Not Particularly Inconsistent (5, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485333)

surprising coming from the guy who had been charged with diversity and sensitivity training during his ten-year Microsoft stint

It's surprising only if you assume that anybody who believes the term marriage should remain gender heterogenous must also think the murder of Matthew Shephard was a really good idea.

I didn't vote yes on 8, but I know a lot of people who did, and their decision had little to do with any lack of sensitivity or exposure to diversity.

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485393)

It's true, I didn't vote for the jewish holocaust, but those jews have too much power, which is why I voted for the nazi's.

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485433)

I know a lot of people who did, and their decision had little to do with any lack of sensitivity or exposure to diversity.

Then what did it have to do with? Not trolling or anything, I'm genuinely curious. I can't think of anything outside of "Because God said so" or "Fags are gross".

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (0, Troll)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485479)

Yeah, basically those two things are what it really does all boil down to. They'll wiggle about trying to call you intolerant for not tolerating their attempts to use the machinery of government to restrict the rights of others, or whatever other dishonest bullshit they feel compelled to spew. But basically it's fags are gross and/or the bible says so.

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485691)

They'll wiggle about trying to call you intolerant for not tolerating their attempts to use the machinery of government

Way to imply anyone that doesn't agree with you is acting in bad faith.

Almost everybody involved in this case is trying to get the machinery of government involved to reflect their particular morality here. The only people who have a position that doesn't involve this are those who advocate separating government involvement with the term marriage entirely.

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485829)

Almost everybody involved in this case is trying to get the machinery of government involved to reflect their particular morality here. The only people who have a position that doesn't involve this are those who advocate separating government involvement with the term marriage entirely.

Actually, I think marriage shouldn't be something government regulates. I don't even thing we need civil unions - we can and should handle all legal functions of marriage differently (contractual arrangements or whatever).

Also, I wasn't implying that people who don't agree with me are acting in bad faith. I'm sure there's lots of folks out there who don't realize their dislike of gays actually boils down to "fags are icky," but that's really what it is.

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485513)

If the word "marriage" isn't important then why do you care if gays use it?

If the word "marriage" is important then how can you argue that it isn't important to allow gays to use it? Did you miss the outcome of that whole "separate but equal" bit last time around, when we tried to claim that it was okay to deny a group of citizens access to certain government services, so long as we provided them a different set of equivalent services, and the judicial system overwhelming decided that wasn't acceptable?

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485711)

"Separate but equal" was never overturned. Instead, the Supremes said that they arent equal.

Their judgment left open a true Separate but equal ruling, in which 2 parties (races, nationality, color, sexual preference) could be discriminated against, but under equal grounds. Like bathrooms... (yeah, lame example).

Re:Not Particularly Inconsistent (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485763)

Except in this case it is the exact same set of services applied the exact same way. I hear that argument come up a lot, but the fact is that forcing a group of people to use separate but "equal" schools, restrooms, etc is very different than creating a new right.

A better comparison would be prohibition. Everyone had their right to drink taken away. The people who liked alcohol were upset, but the people who did not like alcohol were quite happy. It was the same restriction of a right applied equally across the population though.

Color me perplexed. (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485367)

Put aside whatever your thoughts on whether same-sex marriage should be legal or not. Try to look at this from a systems standpoint.

First, we have a court decision allowing gay marriage. Then, we get a proposition that the voters decide that it should be illegal. Here, we have a very classic case of the voters' wishes versus the concept of legal rights which should not be subject to democratic vote. One side claims that marriage is an inalienable right regardless of gender, and the other side which says this isn't the case. Very deep stuff.

Now, stirring up the issue are corporations. Where in the hell do corporations belong in this? I am of the classical view that corporations are there to make and distribute money. I've never been comfortable with corporations lobbying lawmakers. I have never been comfortable with corporations donating to causes. Let them make and distribute wealth and let individuals make those choices.

When corporations get involved with government, it gets ugly. Same with church and state. So regardless of my feelings on Google's position, my thought is they should shut up. If individuals in Google want to take a stand, fine. But when it becomes Google versus the voters, I become uneasy.

Re:Color me perplexed. (1, Interesting)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485455)

First, we have a court decision allowing gay marriage. Then, we get a proposition that the voters decide that it should be illegal. Here, we have a very classic case of the voters' wishes versus the concept of legal rights which should not be subject to democratic vote. One side claims that marriage is an inalienable right regardless of gender, and the other side which says this isn't the case. Very deep stuff.

Keep in mind that the proposition was put forward as one type of amendment (needing 50% to pass) but acts like the other kind (needing 66%), so prop 8 may be invalid on its face.

So regardless of my feelings on Google's position, my thought is they should shut up. If individuals in Google want to take a stand, fine. But when it becomes Google versus the voters, I become uneasy.

Why should corps be silent on issues that affect them? The problem with corps is undue influence, not them speaking in the first place.

Re:Color me perplexed. (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485521)

Why should corps be silent on issues that affect them? The problem with corps is undue influence, not them speaking in the first place.

By the very nature of multi-billion dollar corporations, they have undue influence.

And the lack of gay marriage is putting Google at a competitive disadvantage.... who are they at a disadvantage compared to? Their competitors in Alabama?

Re:Color me perplexed. (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485713)

"Why should corps be silent on issues that affect them?"

It's a stretch in this case. The cost of lobbying is probably more than the potential benefit. I'd like to add that proposition 8 didn't even make civil unions illegal, just marriage (it seems like a big legal gray area).

The problem is that it's unfair to the shareholders who are opposed to gay marriage; these people are also paying for the lobbyists. I agree with GP, it's not a company's - especially a public company's - job to influence the government for ideological reasons. While I completely back Google's cause, it's a line that gets crossed way too much.

Re:Color me perplexed. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485839)

I'd like to add that proposition 8 didn't even make civil unions illegal, just marriage (it seems like a big legal gray area).

Note that civil unions are not equal in terms of the rights granted to them.

And at the very least, the legal equivalent in California is invalid outside of the state, so if you want to move you're fucked.

Re:Color me perplexed. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485609)

Actually.

First we had an implied definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Then Californians voted to explicitly define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Then the courts stepped in the first time.

Re:Color me perplexed. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485665)

I am of the classical view that corporations are there to make and distribute money.

So when Yahoo hands over subscriber information to the Chinese government so that dissidents can be arrested and tortured, you're okay with that? Since protecting subscribers falls outside the ambit of making and distributing money, it's okay for them to help a repressive regime quell dissent at the cost of people's lives?

The problem with your purist (or perhaps minimalist) view of corporations is that many are large or pervaisve enough to have a significant impact on the social fabric. When GM closes a plant, it can destroy a town. When Enron manipulated energy markets, California suffered. Conversely, when Google extends benefits to same sex partners, it has a huge impact in normalizing gay relationships. Large corporations have large social footprints, and that effect is ignored at the peril of becoming a society shaped by corporate policies rather than democratic expression.

That's not to say that corporations shouldn't primarily make money. But there's a balance to be achieved between not interfering with their money making, and dealing with their impact on the society in which they exist, and on which they depend for their livelihood.

Re:Color me perplexed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485865)

I disagree with this. A corporation can express some sort of support for political issues, but it's when corporations try to circumvent the political system that it becomes and issue. It's not like they're working directly with legislators trying to get laws written their way. There has to be a productive way in which a corporation can engage with our legal system.

WTF? (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485385)

"harm its ability to recruit and retain employees"? How the bloody hell does someone being unable to marry someone else prevent you from employing them?

Re:WTF? (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485457)

Because a homosexual person might not relocate to a state where their partner can't get their health insurance.

Re:WTF? (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485579)

Marital status does not prevent a company from extending health benefits to gay (or straight unmarried, for that matter) couples. Unless California is different than other states in this regard.

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485827)

It affects lots of things, such as adoption, hospital visits, and survivorship. how'd you like to live with someone for 40 years and lose your house when he dies because you can't automatically inherit the place of residence? There are lots of benefits to marriage that gays are being denied.

Re:WTF? (1)

JimFive (1064958) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485491)

"harm its ability to recruit and retain employees"? How the bloody hell does someone being unable to marry someone else prevent you from employing them?

Assuming that California's law is similar to Michigan's the answer is: By making it impossible to provide same-sex partner insurance benefits.
--
JimFive

Re:WTF? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485769)

That's not Google's fault, and any other California employer would be forced to follow the same law. You'd have to move out of California to find an employer who didn't have to obey Prop 8, and as I've said multiple other times, Google has offices outside of California.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485517)

I guess this.

[Prop 8 would have a harmful effect on this, that, ... ] and on California's ability to attract and retain a diverse mix of employees from around the world.

I guess Google is arguing that California won't attract gays (ha, haven't they heard of that small, country town, San Francisco?) therefore the huge gay talent pool will be lost?

IMO, Google is acting strangely. I personally voted for Prop 8 but I understand a business's ability to say who or what they will hire and what they will allow of their employees ... but Google isn't just doing corporate policy here.

benefits cost less (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485519)

DP partner benefits are taxable. Marriage benefits are not.
Still that applies only to state taxes until federal Defense of Marriage is modified.

Re:WTF? (1)

Jeff Hornby (211519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485539)

Because that superstar gay propgrammer who currently lives somewhere where gay marriage is legal might not want to move to California. Heck I'm straight (as much as that matters for someone who hangs out on Slashdot) and I'm not sure I'd want to move to some backwater that was so reactionary as to not allow gay marriage.

Re:WTF? (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485569)

Recruit and retain, not hire. They are saying that California is making itself a less desirable state to live in a for a certain set of the population. This set may be less inclined to move to or stay in California to work at google if they feel that they don't have the same rights in the state as they would have elsewhere.

Easy... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485447)

> Microsoft HR Chief Mike Murray cited religious beliefs for his decision to contribute $100,000 to 'Yes On 8'

Follow the money...

And remember, investing in MS risks having your money used against you in the marketplace.

Supplementing the summary (5, Informative)

Daniel Weis (1209058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485465)

"Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the ruling of In re Marriage Cases."

Wikipedia Source [wikipedia.org]

Google's argument can be summarized as such: The law deters gays and lesbians from taking up residence in California, which is where the majority of Google's employees work. Thus the law is detrimental to Google in that its gay/lesbian employees may want to leave and prospective employees who happen to be gay/lesbian will have more hoops to jump through to work for Google.

This is particularly bad timing for such a thing as Google is in the process of laying off workers (though it is a very small number - something like 100) and if they are in a position where they have to layoff employees, why are they even talking about hiring employees? Of course the answer to this is simple - Google hopes to grow and something like this will be pertinent in the future - but some people are very shortsighted and will not recognize this.

Re:Supplementing the summary (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485765)

Well, for one they're laying off recruiters, not engineers. There's no reason they can't continue hiring engineers (at a slower pace) while still laying off in other areas. That's actually what's happening where I work now.

this is huge economically (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485871)

Google's basic argument is correct; they're probably hoping to highlight the more far-reaching economic implications, however. It's not just about Google's ability to hire competitively. The whole state of California just said "no" to billions of dollars in revenue that we were already seeing start to come in during the period when marriage was legal for all. It's just too bad the "No on 8" campaign was so lousy; it would have been really smart for them to highlight this point themselves during the campaign and actually tried to defeat Prop 8 directly rather than fighting through the courts now, which is pissing a lot of people off, even some who voted No to begin with.

Re:Supplementing the summary (1)

SparkleMotion88 (1013083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485875)

I can't help but shake the feeling that Google's stated motivation for opposing this law isn't really valid anyway. Let A be the set of people who will not live in California if same-sex marriage is not allowed (e.g. homosexuals who want to get married, extreme gay sympathizers). Let B be the set of people who will not live in California if same-sex marriage is allowed (e.g. religious types). Google asserts that there are more people in set A than in set B. Is there any logic to back up this claim? It seems to go against my observations (though I've spent my entire life in the south and the midwest). Maybe Google wouldn't want to hire anyone in set B anyway?

Not just Republicans (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485555)

Plenty of gay hatred inside of Obamanation.

Taking off the blinders and looking in the mirror is the first step in getting real.

Re:Not just Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485777)

Plenty of gay hatred inside of Obamanation.

Many people who voted yes on 8 do not hate homosexuals. Those that force this misconception hurt their own cause.

Huh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485567)

which asks the Court not to harm its ability to recruit and retain employees,

Because the only qualified employees are gay employees even though they constitute at most 5% of the workforce?? Because google is company that *needs* to employ predominantly homosexual employees?? Because a corporate interest is more important than the people's right to amend their own constitution?? Because there has been a long previous history of history of handing out gay marriage certificates??

FAIL

Hope they win so taxes can be challenged next (4, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485663)

If Google can win this lawsuit, then any action by Government can be challenged by the same basis. High taxes in California has caused a number of companies to move, and more importantly, a number of individuals. If not being able to hire talent because of gender based marriage gets legal protection, then taxes, school systems, real estate costs.... wow. Maybe I hope they don't win.

Um... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485667)

Didn't the CA public not want the Gay marriage thing in the first place? Wasn't something like some judges getting it in there? Considering CA may have been the only or one at least one of a handful to actually have a gay marriage thing in place, I seriously doubt any claims that it would hurt their ability to head hunt.

Are you saying that the tiny percentage of the general population which is gay is so much better/more productive than the 99.99% of the other population it doesn't matter if you hurt the 99.99% productivity or your ability to hire out of that pool as that .01% of gay people that you can manage to hire is just that much better that its almost worth to piss off everyone else?

If that were so, I'm sure straight managers would bend over for them. I'm sure that there exists some people that are just awesomely productive. To say that population is the gay population is humorous at best. You'd basically have to hunt each industry for their super geniuses to find them. I'm sure that the really high end head hunters could list who those people are and exactly how much that it would take to buy/rent their services. Are you going to be able to say that any given sub group of the population produces these people? Not without alot more data to back you up. (I'd actually be curious to the answer to that though.)

Re:Um... (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485731)

Are you saying that the tiny percentage of the general population which is gay is so much better/more productive than the 99.99% of the other population it doesn't matter if you hurt the 99.99%

      Please explain how allowing homosexuals to marry "hurts" non homosexuals?

Other ways to attract prospective employees to CA (5, Insightful)

Flounder (42112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485709)

...do something about the oppressive cost of housing in the bay area.

...do something about the oppressive taxes in California.

...do something about the oppressive traffic.

failzor5? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26485737)

in Ratio of 5 to list of other

I'm against the state marrying anyone (4, Insightful)

Microsift (223381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485759)

States don't marry people, churches do. When a couple goes before a justice of the peace and get married, they're really just entering a civil-union. The state has allowed religious officiants to create these unions as part of a church's marriage ceremony, but they are two distinct institutions. For instance if one get's married in the Catholic church, and later gets a civil divorce the church still views that person as being married. In order to get remarried in the Catholic church, you have to have the first marriage annulled by the church. Conversely, just having one's church marriage annulled doesn't leave one legally eligible for remarriage until they get a civil divorce.

Of course the source of confusion is that the state refers to civil unions with the religious term marriage. When people hear about gay marriage being legalized, in their minds they think of the religious part of it, and no one likes the state messing around with their religion. If gays are allowed to get married, no church is obligated to marry them. There are plenty of churches that will (some already do) but the state can't mandate that a church violate its religious beliefs.

Gays need to drop the gay-marriage campaign, and go for civil-unions which are identical, yet more palatable to the general(voting) public.

Re:I'm against the state marrying anyone (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485903)

That only works if you remove the marriage tag from same sex couples as well (and good luck getting that one through). Otherwise you end up with a 'seperate but equal' mentality, and we all know how well that has worked in the past.

Shutup and just be a business (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485779)

sheesh can businesses just stay out of crap, their money being in the system is more than half the problem..

Democracy in action (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485843)

If you don't like the outcome of a straight up or down referendum, challenge it in court, great precedent there. On the other hand, if something is wrong, it doesn't matter how many people agree with a wrong view, they are still wrong. It is interesting to think what would have happened if the black turnout hadn't been so extraordinary thanks to Obama, I seem to remember exit polls saying that most african american voters voted against gay marriage. That being said, I'm all for gay marriage, do what makes you happy, it ain't hurting anyone.

0.21% of California Married Couples are Geniuses! (0, Troll)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485877)

Before Prop 8 there were 10,000 married gay couples, 0.21% of all California married couples who also apparently happen to have some kind of genius programming talent that makes Google desperate enough to support the prop 8 repeal.

I'm not against gay marriage I just think it's a big religious fundamentalist vs counter-culture circle jerk over what might as well be imaginary skittle sh*ting unicorns.

It seems that someone at Google found themselves unable to resist joining in yet another round of the great culture war circle jerk of negligible impact on the real world known as prop 8 while meanwhile we have two wars going, the economy that is spiraling into depression, banks are stealing the wealth of this country, and California is about to go BROKE. In fact the governor used his state of the state speech to talk about the enormous budget crisis we are now facing. All public works projects in California have stopped!!!! And all anyone wants to talk about is freakin' prop 8!

"charged with diversity and sensitivity training" (2, Funny)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485883)

"charged with diversity and sensitivity training"

So, he was charged with giving someone a class on diversity and sensitivity? I agree, the people that teach those classes should be punished...

What's wrong with Massachusetts? (1)

hargrand (1301911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26485901)

Question: If Google is really concerned about this, why don't they close down their California offices and move to Massachusetts where gay marriage is a recognized as legal and valid?

Answer: They're just grandstanding.

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