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Why We Should All “Like” Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes

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.


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  • Guillermo3

    Bless you,Mr.Hughes,for doing right!!{and I hate F-book.]

  • WillBFair

    Wasting our time on North Carolina. Please. It’s Rubeville.
    With Houghes’s money, we could do a ton of serious good, helipmg the poor, caring for hiv folk, and creating educated, liberal media.
    But of course, fortunes always throw their money at nonsense.
    It’s an ongoing problem. Money never knows how to do good, partly because doing good harms the cashfest, and partly because money is always surrounded by poverty pimps.
    It’s next to impossible for serious cash to find educated and kindhaerted folk.

  • Brian

    Just so he understands correctly until corporations like Google, and Apple and Facebook refuse to do business in the state of North Carolina nothing will change. Didn’t Apple just open a data center in NC if Apple threatened to close the center and move it to say Vermont then maybe the state would listen. The threats of losing the so called creative class don’t mean a dime because large corporations go where the cheap taxes and labor are and the creative class people go where the jobs are.

  • George412

    I hate Facebook. $10,000 that’s it?!?!?! For a “gagillonaire” that really isn’t much support. If the issue meant that much to him and it wasn’t about just getting press for himself I think he would put up a lot more money.

  • WillBFair

    @Brian: Let the creative class go where the jobs are. The educated class will stay in civlized areas.
    For hicks, it’s all about money. And there’s no way to reason with them.

  • WillBFair

    I must say. That Hughes guy is so handsome.

  • natriley

    Politics is about organization and persuasion. Mr. Hughes is doing the right thing. He’s getting people involved. Until you talk to legislators, neighbors and support a movement, you can’t understand how things get done. Getting corporations to threaten their customers is hardly a good idea. Corporations don’t run the U.S., they just have more advantages. Your mom & Dad told you that. Don’t let it discourage you because corporations like harmony and don’t like divisive policies like opposition to marriage equality.

    As far as North Carolina being rubeville forget it. Duke, UNC, the Raleigh triangle are just a few of very modern places. Sure there are evangelicals, but don’t let them intimidate. Good for you Mr. Hughes.

  • Rafael

    Google is the future of our global economy but brazilian YouTube has flagged my video showing a gay kiss as inapropriate for underaged. It’s easy to say you’re not homophobic, a bit more difficult to put that into action when you’re thinking about money first!

  • Martin

    Not enough cash for someone with his resources.

  • Jon

    I can’t believe people are criticizing Chris’ contribution. He has a right to do what he wants with his money, we all do. If we can afford our own small luxuries in life than in a sense we’re not giving enough away either. I know plenty of uber-wealthy folks who don’t give a dime to any good cause and yet what we do is chastise this young man for trying to bring attention to an issue and for making a generous contribution as “not being enough”?

    Think about it for a second, essentially you just looked a kid up and down for giving away something he didn’t have to give, sneer, scoff and write that it wasn’t enough. Who are you people to say such things?

    No, seriously, who do you think you are to make such a judgement?

  • rf

    The link to their facebook page is

    It would be nice if Queerty would fix it in their story so people can go and like the page easier.

  • Carl

    @Jon: So true Jon, he didn’t *have* to give anything. There is also the psychology factor – if he gave, say, 10 million, how many people would think “oh, I don’t need to give to them, that facebook guy just funded them for a whole year or more”? More than most of us would think, I believe. This sum is a significant boost to the cause, but importantly an amount that will hopefully stir others to donate if they can. Plus, how much of his wealth is in available funds and how much of it is in his companies?

    This is a good move by him and he should be applauded for it, not attacked.

  • espy

    I’m a Japanese citizen and living in San Francisco, Even I clicked it. What’s your excuse of “oh come on use money on elsewhere, it’s just NC” ?

    Stop being lame and move your fat finger to click the damn link.

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @rf: We have fixed the links in the story so readers can find the page much more easily, thanks!

  • randy

    @WillBFair: Totally disagree. This is about the long term — if you want to fight for your rights, you have to do it every day and in every way. In the short run, we will probably lose this one. But in the long run, we start educating young people before they fall in line with the bigots, and we help make it more comfortable for the fence sitters to come to our side. And the more we reach out to, the more that come. It’s never money wasted.

    And yes, he’s really cute.

  • Joe

    “Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are the future of our global economy.”

    We are all fucked.

  • DavyJones

    @WillBFair: Urm.. It’s oddly ironic that you’re posting that everyone in NC is a uneducated hick in a thread about a very well educated person who was born and raised in NC, but really don’t worry about it. Just go on ahead and keep blindly spewing ignorance; it’s a good way to show how ‘educated’ and ‘progressive’ you are.

  • Steve

    That he gave is good. No one is denying that. But that doesn’t mean we have to be blind to the puny size of the contribution. This guy owns 1% of FB, which Goldman Sachs says is worth $50 billion. Even discounting that valuation by half, Hughes is worth $250,000,000. A contribution of 10 grand is 1/250 of 1 percent or .004%. His net worth fluctuates by more than that amount literally every minute. It is less than a rounding error.

    He is a gay North Carolinian. Although he has the right to do so little, he should do more.

  • Interesting

    Considering his wealth, this is like putting a penny on the table as a tip to your waitress, but its good he’s doing something.

    OT: I tire people saying that one can not judge what someone else does simply because they have a right. A right does not mean you are free from being criticized or to go through life without anyone judging what you do. The irony is that you cross a line from “your right” to “trying to control the thoughts of others” when you tell people they can not judge you. You can still do what you want even with my judgment. However, your trying to shut down criticism is beyond like Sarah Palin complaining to the press that “her rights to free speech were being denied” because the press questioned her answers. Your friends ends where mines begin. Mines begin here when it comes to the ability to criticize whether the person being criticized or those defending him likes it or not.

  • Trey

    I dont care what people say, either way I think its great that he actually cares enough to actually do something about it. Sure 10 grand isnt much when you are as wealthy as he is, but its still money that was given away for good cause. Its more than a lot of others do anyways. Great job Hughes. :)

  • xander

    This is about the *message* more than the money. Hughes’ statement is clear: discrimination is bad for the NC economy, for state businesses — and that in a global economy, states compete to be major centres of research and development.

  • JoeyO'H

    This may be the only thing Facebook is good for, campaigns such as this. Otherwide it’s an unhappy place (and designed to) to get back at people in a negative way. It’s too easy to sit behind a screen and waste dogging and posting negative stuff about people who you feel have done you wrong. All in all, Facebook really sucks!

  • xander

    Facebook can be a great tool or a huge waste of time. I know many people who spend 3+ hrs/day just ‘socializing’ on FB, and who never actually meet in ‘meat-space’ or do much more than pass around quotes and links. Easy trap to fall into, I know.

    For those of us engaged in some form(s) of activism or social change, FB can be a great way to organise, but it’s a poor substitute for the hard work of actual face-to-face, person-to-person contact. And getting off the couch!

    That said, I hope Hughes’s campaign succeeds in getting NC legislators and citizens to realise their state is gaining negative national and int’l attention.

  • Brian

    “FB can be a great way to organise, but it’s a poor substitute for the hard work of actual face-to-face, person-to-person contact”

    A common criticism of social media, but one with absolutely no basis in fact.

    Face-to-face campaigning is less effective and a waste of resources, especially if you’re trying to get a large group of people engaged on a single issue, quickly. While it “feels nice” to make the effort to go out and shake hands, it’s usually simply not necessary. With all the time and resources you free up by not wasting time going door-to-door, you can reach many more people.

    While face-to-face might feel like “hard work,” effort doesn’t count — only results do.

  • xander

    @Brian: You must be referring to your own experience, not mine. Perhaps you and I live in different worlds then. I’ve been very successful with face-to-face contacts with state legislators, county boards, city agencies / depts and even some non-profits. Facebook and other tools help rally the troops, without a doubt, but it’s not a zero sum game between online and in-person activism.

Comments are closed.