As our readers may have heard, Google recently announced it’s official position against California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in that state. They did so in a blog by Co-founder and President, Sergey Brin. Among other things, he said this:
While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.
Those two lines sum up the general attitude of a wide range of people who oppose this amendment — average individuals, public officials, Hollywood stars and owners of businesses large and small. To them all it’s a matter of equality.
In his recent post about this announcement, Exodus Vice President Randy Thomas illustrated a classic failing of so many ex-gay and anti-gay proponents.
First, I thought this was really odd considering that 22 states, to date, have passed Marriage amendments and there are two other states this go around who have similar measures on the ballot (Arizona and Florida.) That’s odd to me because out of 25 opportunities, they pick this one. So … I am guessing (TOTAL conjecture) that there are big time investors and prominent employees who identify as gay working for/investing in Google. I would further guess that most of those folks live in California.
To Randy’s mind, Google wouldn’t be doing this unless they felt pressure from prominent investors or employees in California who are gay (“gay identified” in Exodus-speak). He doesn’t seem able to conceive that a multi-billion dollar corporation, particularly one whose primary goal is “don’t be evil,” might consider equality the ethical way to go. And ignoring the fact that Google is headquartered in California, he attempts to minimize their effort because they have chosen to weigh in only now that the fight has come to that state. One of his own commenters said it perfectly:
Google’s headquarters are in California, and the writer of the piece, Sergey Brin, lives in California, so his/their interest in the fight for marriage equality in this state is naturally more pressing than their interest in the marriage equality fight in other states.
Also, please note that one does not have to be homosexual, or have homosexual investors or employees, to favor marriage equality. I, personally, am not homosexual, and have no homosexual investors or employees, and yet I’m a very ardent opponent of Proposition 8, and a strong supporter of the right of each Californian to marry the man or woman whom he or she loves, and who loves him or her in return.
Culver City, CA
This narrow understanding of what motivates the average individual is one of the main reasons that Exodus has failed so completely in communicating with more than a narrow slice of society. At their core, most people are fair-minded and reasonable. Unless one succeeds in painting all gays as horrible, slimy, hedonistic sinners, most people will eventually understand the need for equality, and the injustice of denying it.
It’s not about mainstreaming GLBTs as supposedly recommended in every anti-gay conspiracist’s favorite book, its about not lying about who we are in the first place.