No, Virginia. Intolerance of intolerance isn’t the same as intolerance of human beings.
When it became public that recently appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had donated to the controversial anti-gay rights Prop 8 initiative in California back in 2008, things – as we used to say back home – blowed up. Rarebit yanked an app from the Mozilla marketplace and in a highly visible move, dating site OK Cupid asked its users not to access the site with Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
Eich fought back, and we witnessed a couple of days of textbook crisis management as the company (and its under-fire CEO) worked to convince the world that a person’s official and personal beliefs can be compartmentalized – that is, you can be anti-equality in your private life but suitably inclusive at work. Read more
Gay marriage will finally get its day before the Supreme Court. The issues are legally and culturally complex and the outcome uncertain in the eyes of many observers. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I think I know what might happen here.
I expect that the Court’s left-leaning justices will vote to strike down gay marriage bans (the Defense of Marriage Act, Prop 8, etc.) for obvious reasons: these measures represent an unwarranted denial of civil rights to large swaths of the population, which is anathema to the progressive mind.
I also expect these justices to be joined by Roberts and Alito, at the least. These men were marked out as servants of the nation’s corporate will when they were nominated and they have done little since taking the bench to change anyone’s mind. So, if I might be cynical for a moment, the question becomes “what outcome in this case best serves corporate America?”
I wrote back in February that the gay marriage war is all but over. A string of prominent Republicans have now endorsed marriage equality and a list of 278 employers, organizations and municipalities filed a friend of the court brief with the SCotUS opposing DOMA. That list of businesses includes some serious heavyweights, like:
- Adobe Systems Inc.
- Aetna Inc.
- Alaska Airlines
- Alcoa Inc.
- Amazon.com, Inc.
- American International Group, Inc. (AIG)
- Apple Inc.
- Bain & Company, Inc.
- The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon)
- Bankers Trust Co.
- Biogen Idec, Inc.
- BlackRock, Inc.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
- Boston Scientific Corporation
- Broadcom Corporation
- Car Toys, Inc.
- CBS Corporation
- Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Citigroup Inc.
- Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
- Deutsche Bank AG
- eBay Inc.
- Electronic Arts Inc.
- EMC Corporation
- Ernst & Young LLP
- Facebook, Inc.
- The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
- Google Inc.
- Intel Corporation
- Intuit Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Liberty Mutual Group Inc.
- Marriott International, Inc.
- Mars, Incorporated
- The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
- Microsoft Corporation
- Moody’s Corporation
- Morgan Stanley
- New York Life Insurance Company
- NIKE, Inc.
- Orbitz Worldwide
- Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
- Pfizer Inc.
- Qualcomm Incorporated
- Salesforce.com, Inc.
- Starbucks Corporation
- Sun Life Financial (U.S.) Services Company, Inc.
- Thomson Reuters
- Twitter, Inc.
- UBS AG
- Viacom Inc.
- Walt Disney Company
- Xerox Corporation
It’s certain that not all American businesses think gay marriage is a good idea, but this list would seem to represent a pretty impressive cross-section of the corporate landscape. In other words, the consensus of the US business community is that marriage equality is, well, good for business. This means that corporate HR groups must have strong reason to believe that treating everyone the same benefits things like worker morale and productivity, factors which serve the bottom line.
Who the hell knows how the “strict constructionist” Scalia and the hateful, unreconstructed asshole Thomas will vote. In the end, I doubt it will matter. I’m betting on a 7-2 vote to strike down Prop 8 and DOMA.
Time will tell.
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
– Matthew 25: 33-40
I was reminded of this little passage today as I reviewed these numbers: Read more
Well, here’s a fine howdy-do: Rick Warren, pastor of the mother of all mega-churches, has been tapped to channel Jesus conduct a seance deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Because Warren is, you know, a “moderate.”
…in 2004 Warren declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christian voters and has admitted that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is a matter of tone. He criticized Obama’s answers at the Faith Forum he hosted before the election and vowed to continue to pressure him to change his views on the issue of reproductive choice. He came out strongly in support of Prop 8, saying “there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … Read more