As expected, Microsoft has reversed itself, once again, on the issue of supporting legislation that adds “sexual orientation” to Washington state’s anti-discrimination laws.
Microsoft will formally support efforts to pass gay rights legislation in Washington state, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told employees today in an e-mail addressing a flap over the company’s earlier decision to take a neutral stance on the issue in Olympia this year.
“Obviously, the Washington state legislative session has concluded for this year, but if legislation similar to HB 1515 is introduced in future sessions, we will support it,” he said.
Ballmer said the company will also continue supporting efforts to pass similar national legislation.
Microsoft fucked up when they withdrew their support from HB 1515, creating the perception that they had bowed to pressure from conservative evangelicals. But they should be congratulated for so quickly atoning for their mistake, and publicly recognizing that discrimination is bad for their employees, their community and their share holders.
This is also a major political victory for the gay community, proving that there is widespread public support for passage of HB 1515. Republican state Senators Luke Esser, Bill FinkBeiner and Dave Schmidt better be paying close attention.