Google targets anti-gay countries

Google targets anti-gay countries

Summary: Google's technology puts it in a key position to influence social policy across the globe.

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Google will launch its "Legalise Love" campaign at a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) conference in London today, firstly targeting Singapore and Poland to decriminalise homosexuality and campaigrights the recognition of same-sex couples.

The company explained on its website that it is calling to eliminate homophobia and decriminalise homosexuality around the world.

"At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our 60 offices around the world, we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive," the company said. "We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office as they do at work, and for LGBT communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are."

According to Dot429.com, the first targets of the campaign are Poland and Singapore.

"Singapore wants to be a global financial centre and world leader, and we can push them on the fact that being a global centre and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation," Google's head of diversity Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe is reported to have said.

As a tech giant, Google has the ability to be much more influential in pushing for decriminalisation than foreign governments. Its influence is enormous through its search engine, Gmail, Android and countless other Google services. Countries that would boycott Google for advocating the decriminalisation of homosexuality would face cutting their citizens off from a lot of services that they use each and every day.

Not to mention that it would be difficult to find suitable alternatives, as most of Google's rivals adopt similar positions.

The same concept stymies the boycotts that are encouraged by right-wing groups like the Australian Christian Lobby , which does not want same-sex marriage legislation — currently being considered in Australia — to go through. It is unlikely to be passed at this stage, despite coalition MPs like Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaking for it.

IBM came under fire from the lobby group last year, when it withdrew advertising from an online opinion website that published an anti-same-sex marriage article.

On the other side, Australian coffee chain Gloria Jean's also recently found itself in hot water for donating money to the Australian Christian Lobby. But boycotting a coffee franchise is easy. Google, along with other tech giants, finds itself in a position where advocating same-sex marriage is not only easy to do because it has popular opinion on its side, but those who are against it will also find it difficult to boycott it.

That's why Google is in the best position to encourage Singapore to decriminalise homosexuality, and will be in the best position to weigh in on marriage issues farther down the track in Western countries.

But while I'm all for this particular move by Google, it is a little frightening that one company can have such power. If Google ever truly abandons its "do-no-evil" motto, we're in real trouble.

Topics: Google, Government, Government AU

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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22 comments
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  • Google and Anti-Gay Countries

    That's good news. I can't wait until Google takes on the entire Islamic world.
    Mian909
    • Islam existed thousands years before Google, and it will continue to exist

      I hope you had not gone astray of the topic, but your comment is somehow speaks ignorance.

      Islam and Muslims do not need Google or anyone else for that matter to exist.
      ASP8MBM
      • Islam and Muslims do not need Google or anyone else

        Nope.... just an insane hatred of anyone who doesn't believe as they do. And AKs.... lots of AKs.
        Hallowed are the Ori
  • Let's just hope it works out better than their

    Egyptian spring did last year. I was right here last year at the beginning of it warning them that they should distance themselves from it as it would result in a take over by the terrorist Muslim brotherhood. Don't be surprised if they slide towards Taliban/Iranian style theocracy in a decades time and start blowing up Luxor the way they did the Buddha's in Afghanistan and more recently the tombs in Timbuktu. For whatever reason the sane Muslims aren't standing their ground and the fleckless and useless UN is too busy lining their own pockets to do more than issue denouncements.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Can we get some of that here in the U.S.?

      To be honest I read this thing and thought, a few targeted messages wouldn't be awful here in the U.S. Our radical right has gotten really comfortable with denigrating homosexuals, going from speech claiming it was unacceptable to attempts to pass legislation that would remove any stigma or consequence from gay-bashing. It's not just Singapore.

      Google's efforts are commendable, but unless they get the grass roots fires burning, then their efforts will have limited effect.
      the.ksmm
  • Google Evil Corporation Shtick

    "As a tech giant, Google has the ability to be much more influential in pushing for decriminalization than foreign governments. Its influence is enormous through its search engine, Gmail, Android and countless other Google services. Countries that would boycott Google for advocating the decriminalization of homosexuality would face cutting their citizens off from a lot of services that they use each and every day."
    I take a middle of a road approach to gay marriage as in they can do as they please, just do not ask me for persona support.
    What I find disturbing is how Google is trying to muster support by sovereign government by blackmail for Google's own cooperate policy. Conform your politics to our policy or if you boycott, no service for you. This sounds like some bad liberal science fiction plot device: the evil overpowering corporation plot see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_corporation
    Scatcatpdx
    • Typical liberal approach

      This is a typical liberal tactic. Push a point so hard that you turn people away.

      Look, any clear-thinking person knows that homosexual behavior is neither normal nor beneficial. The stats don't lie. Heterosexual, monogamous marriage for life is the way to go.

      So why is Google pushing this? Because it's popular right now.

      Never mind the millions of lives destroyed because of this lie.

      People who are caught up in this type of misbehavior need help, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to get it. The APA has thrown them under the bus by being bribed into declaring that this is a normal thing -- when in FACT, the vast majority of cases are a direct result of some form of traumatic abuse or neglect which resulted in a confusion about the victim's identity.

      If you offer help, you're called a hater, a bigot, intolerant, ignorant. But it's those who are pushing for this destructive lifestyle which are hateful, bigoted, intolerant and ignorant.

      You can always tell what the liberals are up to by listening to what they accuse conservatives of doing.
      roncemer
      • Destroyed?

        [citation needed]

        The only lives that are generally destroyed are those gay people who kill themselves from people who claim that homosexuality isn't "normal".

        Nor, I would suspect you would find if you actually knew any gay people, are most gays that way because of "traumatic abuse or neglect".

        Thanks for the fact-free comment there.
        Josh Taylor
        • Gay = Normal!?

          Stop the whining please! There are rare cases where “kid’s play” and mind tormenting are to be blamed for actual lives destroyed, but this is becoming a “broken record” being repeated some many times and on so many occasions. I myself have been bullied (as probably all of you here) during my school years (and perhaps even later in time), but last time I checked, my life was never destroyed as a result of it.

          • Speaking of the abnormal - many “disturbed” individuals do carry some sort of trauma into adulthood which could manifest into an unpredictable character formation during and after puberty, but on the other hand, as is the case probably often with gay / lesbian people, the deviations induced to the body and mind of the subject are probably more often based on the - practically uncontrollable – body hormones rather than a sound choice of the individual. Sarcasm: Let’s see, what I am going to be today – oh yes, why not – Gay it is then. Mom / Dad, I have to tell you something…..

          Meanwhile, to take this even further, there is a reason we have genders, which is probably the way Nature has set things to be for us. Now having said that, it is not uncommon for people to be born with some sort of defect, flaw or deficiency, either in their body or mind, which will then distinguishably separate them from the rest - AKA - the Norm. However, in most civilized societies, these are treated as “abnormal” (no derogatory meant) and special conditions and rules are set for their integration into that same society. This is a general rule which does not only apply to homosexuals, it also refers to disabled people, intellectually and physically challenged etc. In essence, homosexuals do exist for different reasons, but they are “abnormal” (again no derogatory meant). Don’t get me wrong, we are all human as anyone can be, but going upstream against the laws of Nature is futile and time wasting. Let them be, but let’s not go out on a limb to “naturalize” the blunders and imperfections Mother Nature throws at us.
          fo128
          • Totally Agree with fo128

            I totally agree with the post of fo128, in fact it's one of the best arguments I heard on the topic. It's simply the way he/she put it, it's one defect that may happen to humans among many other defects, it's the way you handle it and deal with it that makes all the difference.
            NeveenS
          • OMG

            OMG. Its not a defect. Same sex activity happens in all mammal species.
            Merrr
          • Same sex...

            Merrr, men and women fornicate with animals too, and despite this being a fact "of nature" we do not accept this as normall now do we!? Thus, we call such occurences imperfection or, a defect. I am certain the majority in this forum will agree with me on this one too.
            fo128
      • @roncemer

        @roncemer Who let you into IT? In order to be in systems you need to have had at least one same sex experience. Everyone knows that. I think we have one here that hasn't been properly initiated into the profession.
        Merrr
      • Cogent arguments

        I have enjoyed reading the arguments here and the knee-jerk reactions to those arguments. Google has begun sliding down a slippery slope here. They are certainly not gaining any points with this move. I'm personally starting to consider alternative products to replace all those I have become used to over the past 5 years. It won't be as hard as it seems. The last to go will be my most loved android phone. Hopefully i will replace it with a Tizen-driven device.
        tanclo
  • Bullying

    How typically imperialistic of Americans -- seeking to impose their values (or lack thereof, as the case may be) on other societies and nations with bullying tactics. Shame on Google.
    zeekav
    • Google is hardly "American" anymore

      They're a multinational entity, and more represent the ongoing one-world march than anything else.

      They also enjoy data mining like it's nobody's business.
      klumper
  • Corporations are neither moral nor democratic

    Corporations, like countries, are not moral entities, but they are composed of, run by, people who are moral entities.
    Truely democratic countries are best, because their laws reflect, generally speaking, the best interests and moral insight of all their citizens.
    Corporations, by definition, are not democratic. They only reflect the values of their shareholders, and that unequally, because corporate voting rights are based on number of shares held.
    Richard B and Zeekav are both right. A small minority of people, the controlling interest of Google, is trying to turn itself into a global political and moral power. If I object to the policies of my governments (in Canada), I have a vote and right to object. I have no such right inside of Google.
    In my world view, the term same-sex marriage is an oxymoron. Someone may live with someone else, but a mono-gender romantic relationship is simply different in character than a normal one. Yes, normal - a moral word that people, but not corporations, should use.
    John.C.Boyce
    • The free market

      You have the power of how you use the products. If the company isn't espousing values that you like, then don't buy from that company. Simple.

      How is a same-sex relationship different to a hetero relationship? Do you have experience with both?
      Josh Taylor
      • Free Market not a but not a free society.

        Many Countries have a free Market bu not free Government. The problem I is not Google but influence of Government policy. I do not want government involved in the issue. I can free to do business or no to do business Google but we can not ignore government force and regulation.
        Scatcatpdx
  • Don't throw your muscle (MONEY) around - google

    Acceptance is a personal issue - If you want to accept it -- good for you - DON'T PUSH IT ON ME!!!
    sfalk1@...