Google & the Business Case Against Prop 8

I blogged back in October about Apple’s & Google’s public opposition to California’s Proposition 8: Apple & Equal Marriage Rights. (And more recently I blogged about a donut company taking a risk by apparently commenting on a touchy subject.)

Now this new announcement, from the Official Google Blog: “Supporting equality”

Here it is, in its entirety:

1/15/2009 05:00:00 PM
In September of last year, Google announced its opposition to California’s Proposition 8. While the campaign was emotionally charged and difficult for both sides, in the wake of the election many were concerned with the impact Proposition 8 could have on the personal lives of people they work with every day, and on California’s ability to attract and retain a diverse mix of employees from around the world.

That’s why we’ve signed an amicus brief (PDF file) in support of several cases currently challenging Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court. Denying employees basic rights isn’t right, and it isn’t good for businesses. We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success.

Please join us in continuing to fight for equality for all Californians.

Posted by Kent Walker, General Counsel

I have little new to add to my earlier comments, except to note that while back in October Google’s statement focused on equality and discrimination, this new statement seems to focus a bit more on the business case against Prop 8.

Update: comments are now closed.

4 comments so far

  1. Anonymous on

    Google’s counsel wrote: “Denying employees basic rights isn’t right, and it isn’t good for businesses. We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I don’t know what law school he barely got through, but lets hope he is more useful to Google than he is as a constitutional scholar. Civil marriage is not a “right” in the U.S. legal system. It is a qualified privilege. A right is granted to everyone without conditions, but a person must qualify for a privilege. You can’t marry your cousin, you can’t marry an underage person, you can’t marry multiple persons and under current California statutes you can’t marry a person of the same sex. Bringing in emotional rhetoric that same-sex rhetoric is a “right” only misleads people and obscures the debate. Google has the right to ask to be a friend of the court, but not to misrepresent civil marriage. But then Google’s hypocrisy is well documented. They are the naifs who declared in their business model that they would “do no evil” but then cooperated with the Chinese Communist regime in its efforts to shut down online dissidents. Google received much criticism from North American groups who promote freedom in China. The almighty dollar, not principles rule at Google.

  2. Chris MacDonald on

    Dear Anonymous:Since you enquired about Mr. Walker’s credentials:He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School.But do note that Mr. Walker writes of “basic rights,” he is presumably not referring to rights currently enforced under the California or US legal rules. He is presumably referring either to <>human<> rights (not legal rights) or to what he takes to be currently-unenforced constitutional rights. I don’t see anything wrong with companies proposing <>changes<> to current practice within the justice system.Chris.

  3. Anonymous on

    Marriage isn’t a human right and that is why this lawyer is misleading people. Civil marriage is a qualified privilege granted by the state. I am glad you looked up his c.v. because it makes my point even better: a lawyer with his credentials should not have lapsed into hyperbole.Wanting to amend the statute is one thing, calling marriage a “right” is irresponsible and makes the debate about human rights, not instead a (defeated) proposal to redefine civil marriage. Prop 8 is not a human rights issue and it is particularly depressing to see a corporate lawyer using the hysterical rhetoric some homosexual activists employ. Californians have the right to decide who they will allow to qualify for civil marriage. Declaring it to be a polygamist’s or homosexual’s “denied right” is irresponsible demagoguery. Kevin McDonald

  4. Chris MacDonald on

    Kevin, stipulating that something isn’t a human right isn’t helpful. You need an argument. There’s no canonical list of human rights: it’s up for debate. To say it’s ONLY a matter of what Californian’s happen to choose is, well, relativism — of the textbook kind.Note also that as rhetoric goes, leveling innuendo about someone’s educational credentials, being proven wrong, and then using that to prove that you were somehow right is, well, let’s say unhelpful to your point of view.Chris.


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