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Google Politics

Google Launches International Campaign For Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage 804

Posted by timothy
from the personal-autonomy-is-a-good-thing dept.
Apple and many other tech companies have offered benefits to same-sex couples (and sometimes made them a sticking point) for quite some time now, but Google is taking its position of inclusion for sexual minorities outside the company itself; the company has announced an international campaign to promote legal marriage equality for same-sex couples, called "Legalize Love." According to CNN's version of the story, while this represents Google's policies overall, the campaign will at first "focus on countries like Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples." dot429 quotes Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe of Google, speaking in London Saturday at a summit where the initiative was announced: "We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work." Also at CNET.
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Google Launches International Campaign For Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:11PM (#40584119)

    See corporations are people without gender. They want to be able to marry each other.

    Then they can file a joint tax return and have children.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:29PM (#40584325)
      It will be their undoing. Corporations were immortal, but marriage and kids kill anyone.
  • World Pride 2012 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:16PM (#40584171)

    Possibly worth noting that on Saturday in London was World Pride 2012, and representatives from Google were among the groups in the parade (photo) [flickr.com]

    • Re:World Pride 2012 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:32PM (#40584959)

      How can you be proud of something you didn't choose? It's like me saying that I'm proud of the color of my eyes. I understand that these people had a difficult time until very recently, and many still do in some countries, but proud of what exactly?

      --
      Sundar Pichai is the utter asshole whose incompetence resulted in the shutdown of Google's Atlanta office. Fuck you Sundar!

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:23PM (#40584239) Journal
    The US still has a long way to go for full LGBT equality. I can understand stuff like trying to stop stoning of homosexuals in countries where it is illegal, but as for the same-sex marriage fight, it hasn't even been won on the home front yet. I hate to call it a war... but why expand the territory of a war when you're still losing battles in disputed territory you're trying to occupy?
    • by codewarren (927270) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:26PM (#40584305)

      I'd mod you up if I had not already commented, here. This was exactly what I was thinking. If I were a bigot in Poland, I think I would be a bit incensed by Google telling me I have to treat LGBTs equally in my country when they aren't treated equally even in Google's own home country.

    • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:48PM (#40584515)
      Because it's not that kind of war. Social struggles have no 'front' - the fight takes place everywhere, all at once. And in a struggle of public consensus the more battles you start, the more likely you are to succeed at each (cf. Arab Spring for snow-balling social-political change). We should start as many campaigns as our resources allow, for the benefit of everyone.
      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:31PM (#40584937) Homepage

        Exactly what I was coming to say.

        Social change is a change in society's perception, rather than changing physical location, so you have to adapt the strategy to suit the need. Having 20% acceptance in five countries is more likely to spread change than having 100% acceptance in only a single country, because each country's acceptance grows on its own. In terms of a battle, this is a divide-and-conquer strategy, In terms of biology (a more appropriate analogy, IMHO), it's growing a flower garden from a hundred seeds rather than one.

        In America, the "war" has already been won, as far as it will be for quite a while. Sexuality rights are at about the point that racial equality was during the 1960s: The most egregious laws have been fixed, and members of the oppressed groups fear bigots more than than the government. There are still enough bigots in the government, though, that continuing progress is stalled. Now we simply wait, taking every chance we can to point out that everyone, regardless of orientation, is still a person. Eventually enough bigots will die or retire, while the younger generation (who has grown up with the message of acceptance) takes office. Then the next round of change will happen, where all discrimination based on sexuality will be prohibited. Sure, there's always room for improvement... one more state allowing marriage, one more hate crime denounced nation-wide by the media, or one more teenager who's able to come out without being disowned by their family. It's unlikely, though, that any of that will significantly speed acceptance. The bigots are set in their ways.

  • by WhiteHover (2679613) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:23PM (#40584245)
    Google promoting same sex marriage is great and all, but what about ladyboys and the so called third gender? No, you cannot lump it under homosexuality as it's a different issue. Same sex marriage is old thing, everyone should fight for people's right to be whatever gender - or a third gender - if they so want to. Even on Slashdot I always get modded down when I mention ladyboys, and I hope not this time because this issue needs to see some daylight.
    • by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:38PM (#40584395)

      Google promoting same sex marriage is great and all, but what about ladyboys and the so called third gender? No, you cannot lump it under homosexuality as it's a different issue. Same sex marriage is old thing, everyone should fight for people's right to be whatever gender - or a third gender - if they so want to. Even on Slashdot I always get modded down when I mention ladyboys, and I hope not this time because this issue needs to see some daylight.

      The distinction between straight, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender marriage should matter only to the couple that's marrying. There's no reason the government needs to make a distinction.

      If a male->female part time cross dresser is in love with and wants to marry a female->male post-op transexual, why is it anyone's business but the couple? There's no need to make up another "gender", just take gender out of the marriage equation entirely.

    • By the time you get to the "T" in "LGBT", you're pretty much too open-minded for that to be a concern. Or are you saying "I want employee registration forms where the gender field is a variable-length string instead of a one-bit value"?
    • by couchslug (175151)

      Fight for a totally gender-neutral legal world rather than recognition of variety.

      We don't segregate by earlobe size, so cunts and cocks and nullos shouldn't matter much either.

    • by boneglorious (718907) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:22PM (#40585333) Journal

      You might be getting modded down because you call them ladyboys. Use that term with your ladyboy friends if you want, but it might be better for the most part to go with more accepted terms like transgender and intersexed. It just sounds a little more respectful, so it's easier for people to hear your message.

  • Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:24PM (#40584269) Homepage Journal

    Corporations should stick to their core mandate, and not get into 'social engineering'.

    Be it a 'worthy' cause or not, its not their place to stick their noses into it and 'pick sides'.

    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by codewarren (927270) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:30PM (#40584345)

      Yeah, I get so tired of companies who try to stick up for the rights of their employees. Damn them. Why can't they all just exploit their employees to the max like everyone else.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        they do and google does.

        corporations have no soul, no ethics, no 'feelings'.

        google should just fix its own social issues and stop the damned preaching. a corporation showing 'feelings' (no, this is not a pink floyd song) is not cute, its not warming. its simply looking after its own interests.

        google, like apple, wants to appear progressive. this is one current way corps do this; is to champion some ideals that their customers (or even employees) can identify with.

        but make no mistake, google has no feelin

      • by sqrt(2) (786011)

        Why can't they all just exploit their employees to the max like everyone else.

        You've touched on something profound there. For a libertarian-minded person to see a corporation taking an active stance on a civil rights issue is absolutely jarring to their world view. Corporations are supposed to be entirely rational actors that care only about the profit motive and always work to maximize efficiency and revenue. Alienating people by taking a controversial stance on an issue that doesn't even have anything to do with their business is, to them, insane. They don't know how to handle it.

        T

    • Re:Bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:37PM (#40584391) Homepage Journal

      So do you support a ban on all corporate campaign contributions?

  • Sounds fair (Score:5, Funny)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:25PM (#40584283)

    Why shouldn't gays have the right to live in misery like the rest of us?

  • by trout007 (975317) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:25PM (#40584287)

    As far as the government is concerned marriage should be treated like any other contract. They should have no say in the contents. If there is a breech take it to court and let a jury decide. Then purge out of law any benefits or tax considerations based on material status and just people as individuals.

    • by houghi (78078) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:50PM (#40584551)

      So if people who are getting married, they get married by the government. If they want to undergo a ritual somewhere else, like in a church, that can be done separately.

      That is how it is done in at least Belgium and Germany and probably other countries as well.

      It should then be extremely easy to allow same sex marriage as government should not discriminate on gender.

  • Don't be evil (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LourensV (856614) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:25PM (#40584289)

    I'll be the last to say that Google can do nothing wrong (and avoid using their services as much as I can for privacy reasons), but it's things like this that in my eyes put them a step above their competition ethically. Do we see Facebook do this? Microsoft? Apple? Same thing with withdrawing from China rather than censoring on behalf of their government, and a bunch of other examples.

    Corporations aren't people, but as Google demonstrates, they can occasionally show their human face.

  • the company has announced an international campaign to promote legal marriage equality for same-sex couples, called "Legalize Love."

    FTA [cnn.com]:

    Some news reports said the 'Legalize Love' campaign would push for worldwide legalization of same-sex marriage, but a Google spokesman called that inaccurate. The campaign's focus is on human rights and employment discrimination, he said.

    Google has spoken out before on same-sex marriage issues, most prominently when it came out in 2008 against California's "Proposition 8" ban on same-sex marriage.

    2 Percent of Americans Identify as Gay [discovery.com]

    Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples [frc.org]

  • True equality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davide marney (231845) <(davide.marney) (at) (netmedia.org)> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:38PM (#40584403) Journal
    I'm fine with Google being free to promote homosexuality as long as I am free to disagree with them and promote heterosexuality. Vive la difference!
  • Polygamy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by downhole (831621) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:40PM (#40584423) Homepage Journal

    I generally support gay rights, but I've always been a little meh on the idea of gay marriage. What I'd really like to hear is for a gay marriage advocate to explain to me why polygamy should be illegal yet gay marriage should be legal. If we should let two guys or two girls get married because they really love each other and want to be together forever and all of that, then why shouldn't we let a guy marry two or three or more girls (or whatever other combination you can think of) if they all really love each other and want to be together in that way? It isn't something completely absurd like marrying dogs or cars or something - there have been and still are many societies where polygamy is normal and accepted and widely practiced. So why not?

    • Re:Polygamy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Asmor (775910) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:51PM (#40584563) Homepage

      Polygamy should be legal, for all the reasons you suggest. As long as all the participants are of sound mind and everything's consensual, who has any right to tell people they can't engage in polygamy?

      The government shouldn't have any say in this sort of thing whatsoever.

    • Re:Polygamy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by heehau (1036066) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:00PM (#40584649)

      The main difference is in the language of marriage laws. Two consenting, non-related adults etc. etc. can get married IFF they are not of the same sex. The institution of marriage LEGALLY remains the same if the exclusion is removed, since that exclusion serves no functional purpose in the legal framework of marriage. To the law, a same-sex couple is the same as a different-sex couple that can't produce offspring (with each other).

      If society decides to evolve towards polygamy, it certainly can do so, but laws and the judicial system have to changed in a much more fundamental way. The concept of divorce needs to be amended (who leaves whom? is the whole marriage severed when one of the spouses leaves? if not, who gets what?). We have to decide how biological and legal constructs matter (if X is child of A and B, who are married to each other and to C, how is the relationship between X and A different from that between X and C?).

      None of those changes are too difficult to figure out, I suppose, but they are an obstacle that same-sex marriage doesn't have.

    • Marriage is both social and legal construct. In most areas gay marriage can be legalized by simply changing the words man, husband, wife and woman to person and that's more or less it. However, changing the marriage to a construct between 2...n people, we need to totally rethink many concepts such as divorce (does it break the whole group or can just one person leave? Also, can a new person later on just "join" existing marriage?) and widowhood. If a man and two women are married and the man dies, are the t
    • Re:Polygamy (Score:5, Informative)

      by couchslug (175151) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:12PM (#40585247)

      "What I'd really like to hear is for a gay marriage advocate to explain to me why polygamy should be illegal yet gay marriage should be legal."

      Why would they? As you point out, polygamy has worked in many societies and the only objections to it are RELIGIOUS.

      There is no logical secular objection to polygamy or polyandry or "poly-cluster" sexual unions. Where existing contracts don't cover the bases, add riders to the base marriage contract and have at it!

    • by mibus (26291)

      What I'd really like to hear is for a gay marriage advocate to explain to me why polygamy should be illegal yet gay marriage should be legal.

      Why does it matter if polygamy is legal? That's a different discussion that everyone will have different opinions on, and can be dealt with without entwining it with same-sex marriage. Let each be debated on its own merits.

    • I've been reading the book Debating Same-Sex Marriage [amazon.com] (endorsed by both Rick Santorum and Dan Savage, who gave Santorum its... other... meaning). The pro-same-sex marriage advocate, John Corvino, in this case is in the minority--he doesn't necessarily believe polygamy should be allowed. He explains why in section 4 of his opening essay:

      In other words, [the argument goes] the pro-gay position logically entails the pro-[polygamy/incest/bestiality] position. Why would anyone think this? The answer, I suspect, is that opponents misread the pro-gay position as claiming that "People should be able to marry anyone they love." ... But I know of no one in the marriage-equality movement who really accepts this premise, despite pithy bumper-sticker slogans suggesting otherwise. It's a straw man.

      Does my position logically commit me to accepting polygamy as well? I don't think so. ... After examining most of the major arguments, we have yet to see any serious costs from extending marriage to same-sex couples. By contrast, we have thousands of years of human history demonstrating the typical costs of polygamy. Polygamy tends almost always to be polygyny, where one man has multiple wives. (By contrast, polyandry--one wife with multiple husbands--is quite rare.) The usual result is a sexist and classist society where high-status males acquire multiple wives while lower-status males become virtually unmarriageable. in that sense, examined from the social-policy point of view, polygamy actually undermines our "mutual-lifelong-caregiving" goal: if we want to ensure that as many people as possible form stable family units, we should be wary of allowing any one individual to take multiple spouses.

      I've clipped some of his discussion for brevity, but his overarching point is that there is ample evidence (which he briefly presents) that allowing same-sex couples to mar

    • by danlip (737336)

      There is a very fundamental logistical difference between 2 and 3, particularly when you consider who gets to make medical decisions for a spouse that is unable to speak for themselves, or custody issues, or dividing assets in a divorce. 3 makes things much harder than 2. This is solvable with very detailed marriage contracts (something that would not be a bad idea even for 2 person marriages). That being said, I think polygamy should be allowed, but gay marriage is clearly a much bigger and more important

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