Software giant Microsoft has joined Apple in publicly backing same-sex marriage by voicing its support for two bills currently being considered in Washington state.
The Redmond company issued a statement Thursday on its Official Microsoft Blog in support of two bills in the Washington state legislatures, Senate Bill 6239 and House Bill 2516. The move has Microsoft joining five other major corporations who have also publicly pledged support for the legislation: Vulcan, Nike, RealNetworks, Group Health Cooperative, and Concur.
Wedding rings image via Shutterstock.
Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President, authored the blog post. In it he argued that Microsoft’s support of same-sex marriage was necessary because the company needs a “workforce that is as diverse as [its] customers.”
“Every day, the national and global economies are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce,” Mr. Smith added.
The executive also pointed out that this is not the first time that Microsoft has taken a stance in support of same-sex marriage. In 1993, Microsoft became the first Fortune 500 company to provide benefits to sam-sex couples.
Microsoft’s latest support for same-sex marriage joins Apple’s recent efforts on the subject. The Cupertino company publicly opposed California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative in 2008, going so far as to donate $100,000 to the opposition campaign. While Proposition 8 initially passed, it has since been overturned, with that ruling affirmed by the Ninth Circuit in 2010.
Further, both companies participated in the “It Gets Better” campaign in 2011, which provided support to young people bullied for their sexual and gender orientation.
The Atlantic, in discussing Microsoft’s Thursday statement, provides a pertinent summation: “Discrimination is bad for tech businesses. This is true regardless which group of people discrimination targets. Companies can’t hire the best people, and the best people can’t do their best work. And in the end, everybody loses.”