Google & Gay Marriage

Internet giant Google has come out against Proposition 8, an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot that seeks to amend the California Constitution to prohibit gay marriage.
Our position on California's No on 8 campaign
9/26/2008 03:23:00 PM
As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions -- Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay -- we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.

However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. 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.

Posted by Sergey Brin, Co-founder & President, Technology
My immediate reaction to this is simply, who cares what you think? You are a corporation, not a cause. Get over yourself. The obviously liberal executives of Google are simply using their position and access to people to promote a ridiculous point of view. I cannot help but wonder if they would take such a position against other chilling initiatives if they thought that it would cost them money. I don' think so.

I say ridiculous for a reason. Look at the weak reasoning employed by Mr. Brin. The issue is one of equality, he says, we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights to marry the person they love. What fundamental right is that? Never heard of if before. Did I have a right to marry my first cousin and I never even knew it? Dang, I have some good looking cousins. Obviously not. How can people have a fundamental right that has obvious and time honored limits? They don't. Since this right never existed in the first place, it cannot be eliminated. Fundamental rights, Mr. Brin, are not invented out of whole cloth by a radical state court. That would be a rather pathetic way to be granted a fundamental right.

For Google execs to make such a statement is just another the hubris of the successful. They think it, so it must be right. The rest of us day laborers just haven't figured it out yet and need their guidance. Thanks, but no thanks.


  1. Well, I do care about what they said because I realized how much influence Google has over what content we see and what we don't. No matter what you look for you go to Google and you never go past third page of results. With leadership with such strong views on social issues isn't it worrying? Especially if you consider this bit of news?

    BTW - I wrote about it yesterday and got flooded with comments from people who rejoice at what Google did - all liberals opposing proposition 8 and not caring about anything else. I wonder how you would fare. :)

  2. Thanks for posting this, Patrick!

    If I worked for Google in California, I would immediately contact a lawyer about filing a lawsuit against the company. The execs have taken a public stance against Prop. 8 which frames the gay marriage debate in terms of "equality;" this means they are indifferent to the rights of their Catholic employees whose religious beliefs reject and even forbid the shaping of the gay marriage debate in this way; in my decidedly non-legal opinion, by issuing this public statement they have automatically created a hostile work environment for every faithful Catholic who works for them.

  3. They created the "right" to murder your own children decades ago, what's a little extra "right" to marry whoever you want on top of that. The camel got into the tent long ago, now you make anything into a "right."

  4. Brian Walden hit the nail on the head. For a nation that is supposed to be governed by the people, the people have a very shaky understanding from whence their rights come. Have we forgotten that they're supposed to be inalienable and self-evident?

    All of these people who say that they oppose Prop. 8 because they are in favor of equality and freedom are in for a rude awakening. Nothing erodes freedom quite like having the state involved in shaping our most fundamental social structures. This just adds more to the burden of the judiciary: just as Roe v. Wade invented a "right" to an abortion, now the courts are charged with deciding every bit of minutiae about when life begins, who is and is not a person, etc. What power they have now! They must feel like gods. Why not go on inventing rights?

  5. Unless I'm gravely mistaken, you do have a right to marry your first cousin in California, should you so choose. California's always been pretty permissive about who's allowed to marry whom, at least since Perez v. Sharp

  6. You need to boycott.

  7. A little bit off the topic of the actual post...but the views of the Catholic church towards homosexuality is one of the reasons I left the church. Although straight myself, I see it as the moral thing to allow men who feel the same way I do about men to be with men (or women with women).

    I don't know about you all - but I would refuse to be in a relationship with a man (I am a woman) if he prefered men over women. Regardless of whether he went to counceling to try and rid himself of these feelings...I think we would both be fooling ourselves. I think a gay man/woman should not have to live alone, and should not try to be straight because it is a lie.

    Abortion - I can see. You are talking about the death of a baby. Gay marriage??? Why do we even bother with this issue? It just doesn't matter to me what gender others prefer.

    To me a religion that is accepting of all lifestyles (that do not involve harm to others) is the best. (not saying I know what this religion is)

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