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Microsoft Pushes For Gay Marriage In Washington State

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  • I am glad to see Microsoft taking this position.

    Why?

    Because it is ridiculous when people try to control how others feel and who they love, especially when it really doesn't concern them. What we have now is people that are threatened by the idea of someone, oh my god, loving another person!

    I have had my fair share of gayness. While I personally like women, some guys are really hot. I'm not afraid to say that, and it's nice to kissy kiss other good looking mens while out. I have also had relationships
    • 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)

    • by hedwards (940851) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:54PM (#38768018)

      It's not at all surprising that they're taking that positions. Same sex rights is one of the few areas in which corporate America has been by and large ahead of the curve. I'd wager that if you took a survey at MS and similar corporations that support would be pretty high.

      Plus IIRC they've been on that side on the last few times this has popped up for vote.

    • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stanlyb (1839382)
      Why stop here? What about poly-marriage? I mean many men/women with many men/women? WHY NOT????
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Just the other day I was thinking that New Gingrich could be the first candidate to get the endorsements of polyamarous and religious right. Strange bedfellows indeed!

        Followed by the fact that the Mormon is the one with only one wife. I find that highly amusing.

        We've got a guy who can hardly talk, a guy who has multiple wifes, a guy who wants to turn the country upside down; but we can't vote for the Romney guy becasue... Mormons are weird? I've been around these guys, they ain't weird. They aren't even

        • Followed by the fact that the Mormon is the one with only one wife. I find that highly amusing.

          Ever since the late 1890s, the official, "revealed" position of the LDS church has been that polygamy is no longer required / sanctioned-- ever since Congress threatened to withhold statehood to Utah if they did not abandon the practice.

      • 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 KiloByte (825081) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:01PM (#38768840)

        Homosexuality is fashionable currently, polygamy is not. Microsoft doesn't care about rights, it cares about PR.

        I see only two valid thresholds:
        * 1 man 1 woman (rationale: the only 1-on-1 configuration capable of having children)
        * any cohabiting group (rationale: the only non-discriminating one)

        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.

        But, on the other hand, what about heterosexual marriages that don't want to have children? Should they be denied such benefits? And what about 80 years old newlyweds? Here the first variant falls apart.

        Thus, I'd say that there is no other way than to allow any group. Promoting homosexualism is picking them over polygamy (which actually has biological reasons), Yet we can't have it the mormon/muslim way (1 man, 4 women) -- gender equality forces us to allow 4 women 1 man as well. But then, why not 2 men 2 women?

        Thus, let's go for the complement: a whole household or nothing. This would allow simplifying all child/adoption/marriage/etc rules: anyone can join, if you were underage when joining you are not allowed to ever have relations with someone who was a part of the group (no matter if you were born into or adopted); only adults can ever leave (except as a court order in cases of abuse or neglect). No restrictions on gender, number or anything whatsoever.

        • 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).

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by reve_etrange (2377702)

            And since when is an adopted child not the parents' kid?

            Indeed. After an adoption is finalized, there is no legal difference between biological and adopted children, except that in some cases parents of an adopted child may be eligible for some specific forms of welfare.

            Fortunately, California forbids social workers from discriminating between potential adoptive parents on the basis of sexual orientation. What I just don't understand is why people view the ability to marry as more important than the ability to adopt. Californians never had an initiative ballot

        • 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 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 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/washington-adventist-denied-same-sex-visitation-hospital-apologizes/2012/01/19/gIQAvngQCQ_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop [washingtonpost.com] 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 KiloByte (825081) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @07:43AM (#38773186)

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

            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?

            Ok, I probably misphrased it: s/deserve/need/.

            A kid that has a parent and a step-parent is likely to require government handouts less than a kid who has but a solo parent. This is not a hard rule, of course.

            When it comes to deserving, you are exactly equal -- raising a kid is raising a kid.

            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 kind of fail to understand what you disagree with -- I claim that the only non-discriminating way is to allow anyone to bond with anyone else, no matter the gender, race or number of people in such a bond. You claim the government shouldn't get to choose, leaving that decision to the individuals who want to enter the union.

            Unless I get something wrong, these are equivalent.

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday January 20, 2012 @07:15PM (#38769026)

      I am glad to see Microsoft taking this position

      Gates has also done the same thing in Saudi Arabia.

      Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, all covered in black cloaks and veils, on the right. A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. “Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country,” Gates said, “you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group on the right erupted in wild cheering.

      • by EEPROMS (889169)
        Thew sad part about Saudi arabia is the males all do religious studies and the females all do degrees in medicine and accounting. It so bad now that over 70% of the skilled work force is now female and they earn over 60% of the average families income. The male population in the middle east is living a religious none reality.
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:50PM (#38767962) Homepage

    Quit copying Google, and get some original ideas, Microsoft.

    (Seriously though, more companies should be fighting for their employees.)

  • 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?

    • 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 Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:42PM (#38768630)

        Politicians have never worked for the people.

        But corporations are people, and politicians work for corporations.

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

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

        Really?

        Really?

        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.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Obviously some of us have read a lot more history than you have. Politicians whether appointed, or elected have always worked for the people. Simply not in the way you expect, and that's the way it has been throughout history. Whether it was the front-town mayor, or magistrate. Or the regional crown. The problem that exists now, is that cronyism is far too profitable and thus is corrupting politics to the point where politicians are no longer working for the people.

        You break cronyism, you break the hol

    • 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 Tumbleweed (3706) *

      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?

      What power? They're pushing for the inevitable. If it happens, it won't because Microsoft pushed for it, but because it was past time for it to happen anyway.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Um, you do realize that the a few state politicians have been bringing this up every session for at least a decade, right? It's just that at this point the only right under state law that hasn't been granted is the right to civil marriage, at this point the best they can do is civil unions.

      MS does a lot of shady things, but in this case they're just supporting equality and giving some cover to any GOP pols that might be on the fence; allowing them to claim to be supporting the needs of businesses.

    • 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 caywen (942955)

      Corporations don't work for the people - they work for the bottom line. Sometimes The Right Thing and More Profit are actually aligned.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:54PM (#38768022)
    Well, they are trying to entice apple fanbois to switch to Microsoft. This is a logical marketing move
  • No love for the poor people though as Microsoft rolls out the Avoid The Ghetto App [huffingtonpost.com]! Now it'll be interesting to see what ruffles more feathers... supporting gay marriage or the "racist" avoid the ghetto app :)

    gasmonso ReligiousFreaks.com [religiousfreaks.com]

    • If I get mugged and robbed most of the valuables taken will be sold for pennies on the dollar.

      Better to take it through taxes than petty theft.

    • I actually clicked and read that... and, err... that's a bit of fuss about nothing, isn't it?
  • OMG a corporation doing something for the public good {besides selling us widgets we need}. It's sad, but this. is. news. It really shouldn't be. This is how they should normally act. They should all use their influence to make the world better, not worse.
  • YEAH!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:10PM (#38768248)

    Microsoft has, for a very long time, been supportive of LGBT folks. Microsoft's benefits have, for a very long time, fully covered domestic partners at the same level as spouses. Microsoft supports GLEAM -- Gays and Lesbians At Microsoft -- and openly supports GLEAM marching in Seattle's gay pride parades.

    And it isn't just some corporate PR sham. I've worked at Microsoft since 1997, and have worked with almost a dozen gay/lesbian folks, who were out and happy at work.

  • by p0p0 (1841106) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:13PM (#38768302)
    They want to legalize it so that in the Windows 8 EULA they can legally marry anyone, and if you install another OS it'll be considered cheating and they can divorce you and take half your stuff!
    It's a new form of vendor lock-in.

    Those clever bastards.
  • by gQuigs (913879) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:30PM (#38768504) Homepage

    What? I don't get the opportunity to say that very often.

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Friday January 20, 2012 @06:43PM (#38768638)
    Good for you Microsoft.

    Sounds wrong somehow. :)
  • by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@nOSPAm.ovi.com> on Saturday January 21, 2012 @09:11AM (#38773390) Homepage

    Microsoft joins the GNAA in supporting Gay Marriage.

    This is Slashdot after all.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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