washington

Microsoft Doesn’t Like Gays Playing Its Video Games, But Does Support Their Domestic Partnerships

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Microsoft is a power player in all the world, but especially Washington Sate, which it calls home with its Redmond headquarters. So it’s nice to see the tech giant (market cap: $222 billion) donate some $100,000 to Washington Families Standing Together in an effort to pass Referendum 71. Not even 10 years ago, a corporation so blatantly supporting a gay rights cause would face backlash from conservatives with boycott threats. And while that’s still a possibility, these threats are now empty — not only because public sentiment has changed, but also because, well, this is Microsoft, and there’s no escaping its Office suite of software! Then again, Microsoft has some major catching up to do with the gays, given its growing history of hating on gay consumers.

To be sure, internally, Microsoft has a decent record with supporting the gays. Thanks to the lobbying efforts of employee group Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft (GLEAM), the company added sexual orientation and gender identity to its own anti-discrimination policies, and offers health insurance to same-sex domestic partners.

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6 Comments

  • terrwill

    Lets give Microsoft a pass. Takes major techballs to make a major contribution like that Methinks that the majority of Microsofters are for us. There could be some homophobic asshats in the sector which decides which software to make accesible to whom who decide to make some apps difficult to use

  • Ryan

    “no escaping its Office suite of software”

    Um… Open Office, anyone? Actually paying for that overpriced software is shockingly stupid when you can get almost the exact same thing online for free. Downloading Open Office instead of buying Microsoft Office will save you enough dough to practically buy another laptop or netbook ;)

  • SteamPunk

    Actually being so LGBT-critical of Microsoft may be a tiny bit unwarranted. The company has the highest-ranking transgendered executive of ANY Fortune 500 company, Megan Wallent. She’s also very well-respected in the tech community.

    Check out Megan’s blog:
    http://meganwallent.com

  • alan brickman

    Bill Gates is so closet…seriously…

  • David Fagan

    Not sure what the reference is to Microsoft not wanting gays to use its gaming products, but the $100,000 corporate donation from Microsoft goes on top of $100,000 from Bill Gates and another $100,000 from Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer.

    That’s $300,000 reasons to to believe Microsoft is supportive.

    Is it enough? It’s never enough until there is EQUALITY. But in the interim 1/3 of a Million $$$ will buy a lot of ads to defeat the upcoming referendum vote.

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