God we love the future! Back in the day if you asked a corporation to take the right stand on an issue, you’d have a bunch of cigar-chomping old guys laughing at you as they pushed you out the door. But now the Web can make a twentysomething a gajillionaire, and some of these young entrepreneurs are gay and have a social conscience.
Facebook co-founder/spokesman (and current Jumo CEO) Chris Hughes isn’t going to sit by and watch right-wing politicos in his home state of North Carolina just pass a marriage-equality ban. He released a statement today explaining why such an amendment is wrongheaded. It reads (in part):
Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy. But the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment signals to these and other major employers, as well as their mobile, educated employees, that North Carolina does not welcome the diverse workforce that any state needs to compete in the international marketplace.
In short, this amendment is bad for business, bad for the perception of my home state on the national stage, and a far cry from job-creating legislation that North Carolina lawmakers should be focused on….
The proposed discriminatory legislation will only perpetuate this stigma for a new generation of creative, talented youth, uninterested in second-class citizenship in a state they call home. Gay and lesbian North Carolinians work hard, contribute to society, and want to protect their families like everyone else. Their families deserve the same respect and the same treatment as everyone else, and they should not be exposed to the derogatory and harmful anti-gay rhetoric that inevitability accompanies these kinds of campaigns. North Carolina deserves better than that.
Hughes followed up with a $10,000 fundraising challenge: For each person who “likes” Equality North Carolina on Facebook by Tuesday, Hughes and his fiancé, Sean Eldridge, are donating $10 to the organization—up to $10,000. (That’s 1,000 people for those of you bad at math.)
As of this posting, there were 7,767 likes so there’s still time pitch in. And if you have any cash, time or resources to spare, reach out to Equality NC directly. Because as sweet as it is to change your middle name on Facebook to “Equality,”that’s not gonna protect someone’s rights.
UPDATE: The Equality NC page now has 10,402 “likes.” Way to go folks—but the fight is far from over.