Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

HB 1515 makes The Daily Show

The story around Microsoft's lack of support for HB 1515 continues to crop up in new and interesting places. Tuesday night, it made The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart mentioned the bill and Microsoft in the second segment of his show.

The company would be wise to again throw its support behind HB 1515 when it comes back next year as a sign that it does support gay rights.

It should ignore Ken Hutcherson, who is like a tiny version of James Dobson and Tony Perkins. You can't give these people what they want or their power and clout will only increase. If evangelicals want to start a boycott of Microsoft, they can go right ahead. They're not even going to be able to dent Microsoft's sales.

Let them change all the computers in their offices to Apple operating systems, Unix, or Linux. It's only going to cost them time and money and it means they'll have less resources to oppress gays and lesbians with.

Coincidentally, a story also came out about Microsoft's ties to Ralph Reed a couple days ago. Reed is a leading figure in the religious right movement that staunchly opposes gay rights.
Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said the company has hired Reed on several occasions to provide advice on "trade and competition issues." He said Reed's relationship as a consultant with the software company extends back "several years."
Reed is currently getting paid $20,000 a month from Microsoft.

Reed should be fired immediately. He's a controversial figure and his connection with Microsoft tarnishes the company's image. The company shouldn't be paying someone as a consultant who is so openly and adamantly in favor of discrimination by sexual orientation.

If Microsoft cares about their image, they'll do the right thing and sever all ties with Reed. If they can't or won't do that, it's a troubling indicator that the company doesn't really care about gay rights.

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