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Microsoft Abandons Gay Rights Bill

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the a-little-off-the-beaten-track dept.

Microsoft 2304

andrewagill writes "Microsoft has withdrawn support from a bill that would "protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, banking, insurance, and other matters by adding sexual orientation to a state law which already bars discrimination" of the other usual suspects. Odd, given their previous accolades from the GLBT community, and their prior public support for the bill."

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What does he have on you, Bill? (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305350)

From the article in The Stranger:



The Stranger has learned that last month the $37-billion Redmond-based software behemoth quietly withdrew its support for House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature, after being pressured by the Evangelical Christian pastor of a suburban megachurch.



You mean it's that easy? I got an idea...Let's all march on Redmond and threaten to boycott Microsoft...unless they fix all of these unnecessary security holes in their products. :P

Seriously, though, this is a MAJOR issue...Microsoft withdraws its support on a subject it's been championing for years, becuse of threats from one rabidly evangelistic, gay-hating preacher??? Just what exactly does Ken Hutcherson have on Bill anyway? For the life of me, I don't understand why Bill didn't just tell him to fuck off. He should have ordered that Ken be dragged out back and shot (fun fact: it's legal for him to do that in Redmond). But no...he just caves, despite the fact that Microsoft owns the consumer market, and Ken's followers could no longer 'boycott' the use of Microsoft's products than they could 'boycott' the use of oxygen.

I almost feel sorry for Microsoft. Almost.

It's going to be interesting to see how Microsoft wriggles out of this one...although I would have much rather they called Ken's bluff...the 'boycott' would have been even more interesting to watch.

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (5, Insightful)

swilde23 (874551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305403)

despite the fact that Microsoft owns the consumer market

Would that be the same consumer market that passed anti-gay marriage laws in 11 different states last November?

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305458)

Maybe. Just Maybe. The pastor was heard and M$ decided he made a good point.

I don't know the guy. So I can't say how bad he is. But you certainly sound very negative.

There is no national gay agenda. I'm sure we could find gay people on both sides of the issue. Are we so desperate to split up our society into little small pieces to fight one another? Does it have to be the bible-crusaders against human rights for gays? I would imagine there are a lot of bible-thumpers who would never hurt another human being, gay or not. And until told otherwise, I'd assume this pastor is one of them. Likewise, I imagine there are a lot of gay people who don't want special rights, they just want to be treated like everyone else.

Is there room for common sense anymore?

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (4, Informative)

Dav3K (618318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305509)

Heh...ironically enough, that is PRECISELY what gay and lesbian people are after - to be treated like everybody else. Too bad you missed the memo on how that currently is NOT the case...

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (4, Insightful)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305520)

Likewise, I imagine there are a lot of gay people who don't want special rights, they just want to be treated like everyone else.
I don't really see an anti-discrimination law as "special rights". It's not Affirmitive Action or anything.

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305468)

He has noting on him.

The bill was basically stalled as many other unrelated things got tacked onto it. The spirit of the bill was so diluted it was useless.

MS will support a new bill, which adheres to the original with none of the extra fluff.

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305488)

I've never understood why homosexuals require special protection beyond those already offered by existing laws. What's next, a law that protects left handed people? What about a specific law to protect those that choose to be monosexual (probably a good portion of the /. crowd)?

Discrimination law really shouldn't cover something that is a choice (if you argue that being homosexual is a choice) and if it's a medical condition, then let it be covered under the disabilities act.

Re:What does he have on you, Bill? (1)

IronChefMorimoto (691038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305501)

You mean it's that easy? I got an idea...Let's all march on Redmond and threaten to boycott Microsoft...unless they fix all of these unnecessary security holes in their products.

Let's all march on Redmond? Did you just suggest we have a Windows Update Pride Parade?

IronChefMorimoto

That's pretty gay (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305352)

And I don't mean in the homosexual way... but in the bad at sports way.

Mod parent up! (0, Troll)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305456)

It's a reference to this week's excellent episode of The Office.

(for all the Brits hating on the US version: we don't care)

Re:Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305515)

So typical, the brits make something cool, the hippies fuck it. Common examples: British America, HHGTGH, The Office, etc...

Re:That's pretty gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305470)

HAR HAR, Long live Bill Gayts!

LOL @ #BUTTES, UTTER FAILURES (-1, Troll)

GNAA 4 Lyfe. (877931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305354)

I think what Microsoft are doing to the gay community is disgusting. That's why I run linux. Linux lets me be as gay as I want, and protects my rights to do that too! The hippies got something right for a change.
I pronounce Linux to be the gay operating system of choice for faggots everywhere. By running linux you are showing your support for gay black men everywhere.

Re:LOL @ #BUTTES, UTTER FAILURES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305419)


Wow...this subject played right into your hands, didn't it?

LOL BILL GATES IS A FAGGOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305357)

n/t f/p

Bad. (5, Insightful)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305359)

At the April 4 meeting, Smith told members of GLEAM, the gay and lesbian employees group at Microsoft, that the company had switched its official stance to "neutral" on the bill, and took personal responsibility for the decision.

Followed by

An Apple a day keeps the bigot away?

As much as I am for civil rights and gay marriage, this is inflammatory. Just because Microsoft changed their stance from pro to neutral (not against), this makes them bigoted? I don't buy that. I don't buy that at all.

This is the same kind of black and white reasoning that George W. Bush uses. "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists." Just because someone wants to back away from the battle, doesn't mean all of a sudden that they're on the side of the religious right.

I know it's in-fashion to bash Microsoft on this site, but the fellow who wrote this article takes any sort of GBLA equality achievements with a grain of salt. Kind of like giving a donation to a charity the first time around, and being called stingy for not doing so every time.

Sure, it's disappointing that they backed off. Sure, I hope they change their mind, and I hope plenty of people call them. But to call them bigoted for turning neutral (and not against) is simply going too far.

How are gays discriminated against at work? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305397)

Gay is not a race, its not like you have to tell all your employees your sexual orientation.

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (1)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305480)

Neither is religion but it's illegal to discrimante based on that as well.

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305492)

By being fired. [dailyillini.com]

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (5, Insightful)

Mr. Mikey (17567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305503)

I take it you never saw the movie "Philadelphia" ?

Let's say you have a picture of your partner on your desk. You might be told that personal pictures are "inappropriate"... even though others have pictures of their wives or husbands on their desks. You might be passed over for promotion, get your hours cut, or fired for "poor performance" or "poor attitude."

Sure, you can be gay at work without anyone knowing... if you never talk about your personal life... and you laugh along with everyone else when someone makes a "faggot" joke... and you express the same level of admiration for this week's actress or calendar model of choice... and you never refer to your partner in any way that sounds like you aren't "just friends"...

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305524)

I believe the idea is, "you are not allowed to beat up the nerdy kid because you've never seen him on a date with a girl and because of that he must be queer."

The real issue for the folks who try to stop this type of legislation is:

Antidiscrimination laws do nothing to prevent people from being a member of any litigiously (sp?) protected group and doing all sorts of things that some think are a moral sin against God and nature. They're there to prevent the those people who think that from painting pink triangles and yellow stars on your house, and all manner of other nasty things that their religion prohibits them from doing anyway.

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305528)

A good friend of mine who happens to be bi works in a law office where he endures a constant stream of anti-gay jokes on a regular basis. It's right up there with contributing to a "hostile work environment" and I'm sure if he went to HR he could complain about inappropriate sexual and/or bigoted humor, but still, the problems exist.

Re:How are gays discriminated against at work? (0, Troll)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305530)

Ah yes, because you can only discriminate based on ones skin color right?

Your post is actually discriminatory against gays in that it is marginalizing the gay community, and then justifying that by stating that that fact doesn't matter as it can be hidden.

Just because something doesn't apply to you doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Re:Bad. (0, Flamebait)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305440)

>Just because Microsoft changed their stance from pro to neutral (not against), this makes them bigoted?

Well it certainly does not make them courageous...

A trait we all should work towards having...

Shame on microsoft.

Wrong. (3, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305446)

A neutral stance on an anti-discrimination bill may not be bigoted if the company had never thought of it before. But if the company changes its position from in favor to neutral, understanding that this might kill the bill, this is clearly a bigoted position.

There is no excuse for discrimination against gays. Microsoft of all companies should know that.

No (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305517)

You are incorrect. A bigot is by definition intolerant of the opposing point of view. Neither having an in favor stance initially, nor backing down to neutral, indicate any kind of bigotry. Their stance would have had to be radically opposed from the off.

Re:Wrong. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305560)

There is no excuse for discrimination against gays. Microsoft of all companies should know that.

Well, the current government regime in power in the United States doesn't know it and in fact supports discrimination against gays. So why shouldn't companies?

Re:Bad. (3, Insightful)

rpdillon (715137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305472)

Right on.

I think the answer to most discrimination issues *is* to be totally neutral (not to discrimination, but to whatever basis people are using to dicriminate). Black? White? Latino? Gay? Lesbian? Bi? I don't care...how well can you program? What experience do you have unit testing? Are you familiar with functional programming methods?

I'm usually against MS, but on this, I agree...they shouldn't have a position on issues like this; these issues are personal and irrelevant to the business. Making it out like they're suddenly a "bad guy" because of THIS, of all things, is kind of absurd.

Re:Bad. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305489)

An Apple a day keeps the bigot away?

Yeah, because Apple has been such a champion of gay rights. Oh wait...no they haven't done anything.

MS may be backing down in the face of a country that (in case you missed the last election) is rabidly against the gay rights movement. But at least they tried to do something.

When is the last time Steve Jobs ever tried to do anything for gays (or for Africa, or any number of other charitable causes that Bill Gates gives big $$ to)?

-Eric

Re:Bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305531)

Yup,

Bill G is considered one of the biggest philanthropists of the time but lets all bash him becasue he runs Windows.

Re:Bad. (1)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305536)

Heh.. I bet myself when I clicked on this story to read the comments that the top post would contain some kind of attack on Bush, even though this story has nothing at all to do with him, and that it would be rated +5 insightful.

I guess I win. :) The Bush bashers are currently more in fashion on /. than the MS bashers are, so it was an easy call.

Re:Bad. (1)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305540)

As much as I am for civil rights and gay marriage, this is inflammatory. Just because Microsoft changed their stance from pro to neutral (not against), this makes them bigoted? I don't buy that. I don't buy that at all.

From TFA:

Some proponents of the legislation expressed shock and anger at the company's decision, characterizing it as a capitulation to extreme social conservatives that appeared to run directly counter to the company's internal policies which stress diversity and are considered gay-friendly; Microsoft, for instance, offers domestic-partner benefits.

They changed from pro to neutral after being threatened with a boycott from a single pastor.

Cowardly, to say the least.

Uh... (5, Funny)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305364)

Anyone else read this as Microsoft Abandons Gay Bill?

Could it be that business interests... (1, Troll)

sharkfish (54213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305365)

...come before social interests? Nah. Couldn't be.

Re:Could it be that business interests... (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305477)

Of course. They're worried about competition from lesbian linux [lesbian.mine.nu] .

Re:Could it be that business interests... (5, Interesting)

theodicey (662941) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305562)

Actually, aside from the basic human rights issue of anti-discrimination, being gay-friendly is in microsoft's business interests.

Gay customers buy a lot of computers, and they tend to be cultural trend-setters or bellweathers, i.e. the people who Microsoft is trying to attract from Apple.

Also, large companies have a real interest in ensuring that their homebase becomes a culturally vibrant area which attracts professionals and creative types. Gay-friendly laws encourage cultural vibrancy and improve the hiring pool, since people won't live in cities with a reputation for intolerance. Just look at Procter & Gamble's opposition to the Ohio anti-gay constitutional amendment.

(Although, being based in Cleveland, P&G had a little more incentive than MS...)

But (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305366)

Windows is still gay.

You take that back! (5, Funny)

RatBastard (949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305511)

Windows is still gay.

You take that back! You take that back right now! How DARE you insult homosexuals like that!

How surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305369)

Like anyone expected Microsoft to hold high moral principles. But you gotta wonder - how much of their customer share are really christian-fundamentalist-bigots?

Re:How surprising (1)

Bongzilla (458471) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305459)

what's more, this comes from a christ-as-jailer perspective of christianity--that side of the huge and multifaceted religion that would bring damnation on earth to avert sin.

A long ways from the buddy jesus concept. I'm really glad everyone decided that was the wrong way to go. I guess a thumbs-up, affirmative type of religion is better left to a different time, or a different people, than us today.

Has no one commented? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305370)

I wish to remain anonymous, this space left intentionally blank.

yes indeed (1)

nil5 (538942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305374)

i for one welcome our new GLBT overlords.

Looking forward to the official GNAA reply.

Cheers!

So.. (1)

galo (716595) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305376)

Now Apple users don't have the right to use anything from Microsoft?

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305424)

thats pretty gay

Entirely Predictable (4, Insightful)

Harodotus (680139) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305387)

That Microsoft did this actually this was fairly predictable, even though I too am a strong advocate of gay rights.

Regardless of TFA says, what I think happened is that there is a some major customer of Microsoft software is strongly anti-gay rights (like the Bush run federal government or a large corporation or a major customer who allies itself with the religious right extremists mentioned in TFA) told Microsoft that they wouldn't purchase X 10s of thousands of copies of Office if Microsoft undermined their anti-gay political policies / laws.

Microsoft wants to be known as socially responsible, but faced with a reduction of revenue, their greed took precedent and they became non-political on this issue. Of course they can't publicly admit this backroom concession.

Surely no one here would be surprised that Microsoft went for the money before social responsibility. Heck most companies would do the same thing if enough money was at stake.

Re:Entirely Predictable (2)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305445)

What is this... 'social responsibility' you speak of?

Rather than blaming greed... did you ever consider that maybe they did what was best for their shareholders and employees?

On the plus side... (1, Interesting)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305493)

Actually, that's interesting. If Microsoft had followed through with this, would we in the FOSS, non-Microsoft using community have found ourselves flooded with a tide of anti-gay software users?

I suppose that's a silver lining to this cloud.

They are beginning to see... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305389)

...Mac OS X as a threat (rightly, in my opinion), so they are now attacking the problem at the source.

Back scratching politics (4, Interesting)

metoc (224422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305401)

Odds are dropping support for this bill was necessary to get support for a bill they really want passed (anti-open source, take over the world, etc.).

A$$H0L3S (-1, Troll)

rkv (852317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305409)

Microsoft is GAY!!

Wrong angle (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305410)

What bothers me is that one corporate entity seemingly has so much influence over the legislative process. Specifically, a law that is totally unrelated to their industry.

I understand the RIAA/MPAA and Copyright legislation, but Microsoft and Gay Rights? WTF?

Now, instead of "Write Your Congressman!" are we supposed to call MS Tech Support?

-Charles

Re:Wrong angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305576)

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power"
Benito Mussolini

People can be right arseholes about this. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305412)

People can be right assholes about this. Having been told to my face by my manager "look, we'd really love to keep you on but I'm afraid there's no legal protection to you if we fire you over your homosexuality, so we're forced to let you go. Please don't hesitate to contact me if there's ANYTHING we can do for you."

And you thought Microsoft were the kings of doublespeak & twisted convoluted logic.

Unfortunately, legal protections can only go so far. If someone wants to fire an employee because they don't like the employee's partner, then they'll find a reason quickly enough.

Oh man (4, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305413)

Microsoft abandons gays? That's a great agline. Just what the doctor ordered, in case there weren't enough things to flame them about.

Now I'll listen to the zealots ticking off the reasons "M$ is teh suxx0rz" and including "they hate fagz" as well, like most of they care.

I have to wonder why this is on the Slashdot front page, and why it's not followed by a list of companies like IBM, Novell, Sun and Red Hat and what their attitude is towards gays and lesbians.

But wait, actually I don't.

Re:Oh man (3, Informative)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305478)

Actually, IBM is a huge supporter:

http://www-306.ibm.com/employment/us/diverse/award s.shtml [ibm.com]

Re:Oh man (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305550)

So was Microsoft, until today apparently.

Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's USA (1, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305418)

Gay bashing is now a socially acceptable form of discrimination in this country. See also: Texas to ban gays from being foster parents.

Re:Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's US (2, Insightful)

kaje103 (828985) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305504)

You're bring Bush into this? Gay bashing has been seen as socially acceptable for years...

I remember being 12 calling things gay. Bush has nothing to do with it.

Re:Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's US (-1, Troll)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305527)

Gay bashing is nothing new. Bush didn't introduce the concept. I see no evidence of gay bashing on Bush's part.

BTW, gay couples shouldn't be allowed to be foster parents. Foster kids need normalcy in their lives. Sorry, gay parents aren't normal.

Re:Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's US (2)

Mr. Mikey (17567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305567)

So, tell us... what test will you adminster to determine whether a couple is "normal" or not? Who gets to decide?

Feh... being gay is as abnormal as being left-handed.

STFU FAGGOT!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305551)

If you'd pull your dick out of your friend's ass long enough to read the Bible, you'd understand why that is the way it should be.

Re:Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's US (1)

Johnboi Waltune (462501) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305555)

See also: Connecticut legalizes same-sex civil unions. Societal attitudes aren't as black-and-white as you believe.

Re:Gay bashing has been legitizimized in Bush's US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305564)

>>Gay bashing is now a socially acceptable form of discrimination in this country.

"now"?

Because, as you probably know... (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305422)

If GLBT people are not protected from discrimination there would be no porn on the internet to corrupt our children.

Yeah, Right.

Microsoft simply rethought their strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305425)

Rather than pushing for a new standard that has gay rights, they plan to support the current non-gay rights standard. Once the market accepts Microsoft's non-gay rights standard, they'll add back the gay support and lock people in. Embrace and extend, people.

Huh (4, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305428)

I'm not sure I understand how a corporations support, or lack there of, for social political issues is relevant..

I suppose this is analogous to Henry Ford's philosophy for why he paid his workers well, in some respects, but Henry Ford didn't throw his weight behind legislation and bills for workers, did he?

i think seperation of corporation from government is more important than the seperation of church and state in some respects. Who cares what bills or legislation they do or don't support. I think a company's best influence on society can be made through their own internal HR and resource practices..

i don't know, seems a bit silly to me.

Re:Huh (3, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305518)

I'm not sure I understand how a corporations support, or lack there of, for social political issues is relevant..

Allow me to explain. We measure its relevance using a unit known to some as the US Dollar, to others as the "greenback". Legislation in this country needs to be lobbied for. Politicians don't know shit, and don't have much of an incentive to learn about shit unless there is somebody breathing down their neck, using the carrot-and-stick approach to get them to pay attention to an issue. The people who do this, lobbyists, have to be paid by somebody. Since corporations have a lot of money and a common goal within the organization can be easily set, it's pretty straightforward to see how they might hire lobbyists and give them the tools (payola money) to work their trade.

Now you may think in an ideal democracy this isn't how things would work, but that's not the world we live in. Professional, trade, and random interest groups can certainly wield the same power by swinging some dollars around, and representing some bloc of citizens. But without some sort of organized, funded umbrella organization, it is difficult to get your opinion heard by politicians.

So, perhaps it's a little more clear now why Microsoft throwing their weight behind this cause might be relevant?

okay, i'll bite... (4, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305433)

okay.... i'll ask....

what the hell does a software company have to do with promoting gay rights? i don't remember any questions to that effect the last time i installed windows...

*hands up in the air..*

*rolls eyes..*

*walks away...*

Re:okay, i'll bite... (5, Insightful)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305482)

its because software companies have these things called people. Only they are not "things" they are human beings and should be treated as such...

and hint hint... treating your people BETTER usually results in BETTER software with BETTER profits...

Re:okay, I'll bite... (now literally) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305499)

Didn't you read the EULA when you installed Windows? You agreed to whole host of restrictions on your sexuality and sexual preference when you "clicked here to agree".

Re:okay, i'll bite... (1)

poserFish (877917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305538)

Maybe nothing, but they chose to get involved in the first place...

Quite honestly... (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305438)

I'm not sure how people could honestly hate Microsoft more. And alienating a substantially large customer base by caving into peer pressure from a religious nut^H^H^H Evangelical Christian isn't going to help matters much.

Perhaps they figure that since they own such a substantial amount of the market in software, they can afford to piss off a few more people. Meantime, I'll continue to happily use Firefox and perhaps consider Linux for my next operating system.

As a gay canadian.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305439)

I am very glad I run openBSMD.

Apple Stickers (2, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305448)

I guess Bill was pissed about all those rainbow Apple stickers from the 80's showing up on his car.

Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305450)

Not that I promote or condone homosexuality, but how can anyone be against the prevention of discrimination? Or is it that some people see supporting a bill that protects homosexuals from discrimination as also condoning homosexual behavior and that Microsoft doesn't want certain people to hate Microsoft because of this perception?

As an aside, are we going to need laws for every stupid little thing that someone might use to discriminate against someone else? Wouldn't it be easier to just present a list of things you could discriminate against?

Re:Odd (0)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305569)

>>> but how can anyone be against the prevention of discrimination?

There is such a thing as beneficial discrimination, unless you wouldn't discriminate against, say, murderers or rapists either.

On that basis, like most christians, I think discrimination against gays is a good thing.

oh brother. (1)

Canuck_TV (804581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305453)

As a young, gay, male geek... The second that anything Microsoft does has a significant impact on gay rights, I'm moving to Holland.

With all the ignorance in government on this side of the pond, the last thing we need is our Software Overloads making some form of impact (good OR bad).

Why doesn't Bill stick to software. Yeesh. Next headline: "General Motors supports rights of grape pickers in Southeastern France." Who cares??

Another reason to dislike MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305455)

Now they're homophobic too!

What is the problem here? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305461)

Microsoft are making a business decision, and nothing else. At the moment the people worth keeping sides with in government, especially washington are more likely to be less favorable to gay & lesbian rights. That's not Microsoft being harsh to gays & lesbians, it's microsoft doing right to its own continued success and to that of its stockholders.

THOSE INTOLERANT BASTARDS!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305464)

Damn Microsoft. How dare they not support the homos!

Microsoft fails to realize the power that the homo crowd wields. Apparently, so does the island of Nevis [jamaicaobserver.com] and Cayman and Jamaica.

No homos! w00t!

Re:THOSE INTOLERANT BASTARDS!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305500)

Missing Cayman [caribbeannetnews.com] link.

None of the politically correct bullshit in the Caribbean.

No homos allowed! w00t!

Alternative Headline: (3, Funny)

CaryTheSane (877911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305473)

Bill Bails on Gay Bill.

Amazing. (5, Interesting)

RatBastard (949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305479)

The truley amazing thing about this is that MS is scared of someone. Just think about that for a second. The biggest software company in the world, with a monopoly on the desktop and office suite markets scared of someone. Anyone.

It makes one wonder if there is something rotten in Redmond.

Microsoft? (2, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305490)

To listen to the commentary here, the gay community is entirely using Apple computers.

eh? (2, Interesting)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305497)

I didn't know corporations had anything to say over which laws are passed in parlement. I know we jest on how the government is 0wned by MegaCorps, but to see it brought as bluntly as this (on a topic that doesn't really interfere with their businessplan!!!) is a bit scary. It is possibly even more scary that not a whole lot of posters seems to notice this fact, and apparently accept that the CEO of a company can pass laws in parlement.

Re:eh? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305556)

What's more scary is that you are, I assume, at least, say, 12 years old and are just realizing this. Government has been tied to money since the beginning of time. If this really is news to you, then I have some other news for you: Water is wet and the Earth is round(ish).

This passes for journalism? (4, Insightful)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305498)

Some online rag I've never heard of posts a story and doesn't cite specific sources, some blogger links to said online rag, /. links to blog and posts Microsoft hates gays!

Can anyone actually confirm that MS pulled support of this?

Why did MS lobby? (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305512)

It's unclear why MS went to bat about this issue anyway. Their website states [microsoft.com] :
"Microsoft strongly believes that an inclusive work environment and a diverse employee base have been critical elements of our corporate culture, not only making Microsoft a great place to work, but also enabling us to better understand our customers and create better products," said Ben Waldman, vice president of Microsoft's Mobile Devices Division. The first openly gay executive at the company, Waldman accepted the award on behalf of Microsoft at ceremonies in Hollywood on Dec. 8.
So if I'm reading this correctly, they are lobbying to make other companies stop discriminating against gays because Microsoft believe that including gays is beneficial to their business.

Doesn't this strike anyone else as being rather inconsistent with Microsoft's past behavior?

I mean why would they want to enforce a competitive advantage on their competitors when they typically are so anti-competitive?

We are talking about the Stranger here (2, Informative)

Static_Neurotoxin (141004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305513)

This is an "Alterative" ad based weekly paper here in Seattle. In my opinion, it's journalistic integrity is slightly above the Weekly World News and roughly that of the Readers Digest.

Not to say they haven't been right in the past, but their slant is a far left leaning urban newspaper. I imagine their evidence is pretty much Microsoft withdrawing support and a pastor claiming credit.

microsoft... (1)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305534)

already fucks enough people in the ass, that gays don't have to any more.

M$ changed their minds and did the right thing?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305539)

So for once M$ has changed it's mind and is doing the right thing? I suspect that a forecast just changed from flames & scorching to frost warning and flurries!

Church of Gays and Lesbians? (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305545)

Why can't gays start their own church? That way if someone gives them a hard time, they can claim that it is religious descrimination?

The Onion (1)

Doc Ido (241430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305546)

This seems like the headline of an article from The Onion.

What other changes? (1)

chinard (555270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305561)

I cant help but wonder if this means they will be changing that default "teletubby landscape" background that comes with windows XP for fear of association with the "outed" Tinky-Winky?

Not causing a problem... (1)

BK425 (461939) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305563)

http://www.komotv.com/stories/36438.htm
Local tv says the bill has "resurrected". AFAIK this is unprecedented, in Washington when a bill is sent to committe to die (late in the session), generally, they die.
So if you support expanding protected group status to GLBT, it could be that having Microsoft abandon your cause is a good thing fwiw.

more proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305568)

that Microsoft is teh ghey.

US has turned more concervative (2, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 9 years ago | (#12305573)

And Microsoft, since one of the largest companies, follows the trends. By offering support to religious conservatism, MS gets benefits from Bush's government, and the republicans enforce their agenta on a wider basis.

Serious Question Off Topic(at least a little) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12305577)

Alright I will ask it:

Gay unions, marriages, whatever you call it and whether you are for or against it.

Question: If gay marriages are allowed, would this also mean I should be able to marry my sister(no Kentukcy jokes), my brother, mom, dad or anyone else.

I hear Barney Franks speech about just wanting to be together and live normally, etc.

Could I not substitute my sister in his speech and make the same arguments?(We will assume one of us is sterile).

What about more than one wife or husband, maybe a combination of both?

I really am serious.

9876

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