Microsoft reboots on gay rights legislation

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.

Comments

  1. 1

    Jeff B. spews:

    While gays deserve equal treatment, they don’t deserve special legislation.

    Gays ought to be free from discrimination and have the right to union, etc. but a large private company should not be involved and the legislation is an added, uneccessary law.

    Here are the three essential points of the law:
    * Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
    * Adds definitions of sexual orientation and creed to the Law Against Discrimination.
    * Exempts from the law against discrimination certain real estate transactions involving the sharing, rental, or sublease of a dwelling unit when the unit is to be occupied by the owner or subleasor.

    If anything, the words “sexual orientation” should be added to existing anti-discrimination laws. The problem is point number three. If discrimination is wrong and already illegal, it doesn’t need specific codification for each possible offense.

    Poorly written laws deserve no place in our governance. And it’s equally appaling that vocal minorities are stiff arming large private companies for their own special legislation. Specific codifications for every possible minority produce a tangled, bloated law, that ultimately is less functional to the end-user.

    Hmmmmmm, that sounds a lot like Microsoft software, so maybe that’s how they got involved.

  2. 3

    Puddybud spews:

    What will Microsoft do if flyover country stops buying their wonderful software, about face again. I already discussed the Biblical implications of this decision.

    Goldy, why are you so into legislating morality? If people feel uncomfortable doing something against their religious beliefs, why you are so bigoted against them and their personal beliefs? What is the democrapic party? The party of far-left unhinged democrapic beliefs only and if you disagree with them too bad? Looks like that to me. I am so glad I left you all back in the 80’s.

    Pudster

  3. 4

    spyder spews:

    Vocal minorities stiff arming legislators to act in their interests, mmmmmm sounds a great deal like a description of lobbyists. Not that we could scroll through various lists of lobbyist expenditures and identify which of the endless US minorities are getting the most out of their dollars, but suffice it to say, it seems highly unlikely that the minority of fundamentalist and evangelical christians will spend as many millions of dollars on MS based products, as a minority of GLBT persons and their supporters. I used to be under the impression that conservatives supported capitalistic constituencies and the moneyed, property holding elites; it seems from reading several of the posts that there are a few shouting voices who would rather actually see a variety of discriminatory behaviors based on a small minority’s theological interpretations in our society than increasing the wealth of share holders and pension funds.

    Need we be reminded the GLBT community has one of the largest shares of disposable income in our US markets. Garnering a portion of that wealth for MS is all about business.

  4. 5

    candrewb spews:

    “What will Microsoft do if flyover country stops buying their wonderful software, about face again. ”

    Respectfully Puddy, I do not see that happening. Flyover country is no more or less biblical than anywhere else, despite what the cultural pundits say.

  5. 6

    karl spews:

    Its a pity that when Microsoft gets too powerful in the business world they get sued, but if they try to wield political power, the gay lobby loves them.

    Everyone complained they caved into Hutcherson. Now they caved into the gay lobby. How is this better?

    Taking no position was a responsible one for any corporations. Considering all the complaints that the Government is too controled by Big Business, this is pure hypocrisy.

    Microsoft has the best and most diverse policies and should be appluaded. They show their diversity in their intercompany actions. As they Should.

    But they should stay the hell out of politics, and out of my government.

  6. 7

    chardonnay spews:

    next time? ain’t gonna happen. you’ll see in the next election the majority will shift. Microsoft says this now just to shut you up. The dems ruined their reputation during the first session. the dems have no future in WA.

  7. 9

    thehim spews:

    Gays ought to be free from discrimination and have the right to union, etc. but a large private company should not be involved and the legislation is an added, uneccessary law.

    This is incorrect. The law that was just voted down was intended to add homosexuals as a protected class under current anti-discrimination lawsuits. If you believe the first half of that statement, it makes no sense for you to believe that it’s an unnecessary law. The law ensures that gays are free from discrimination.

    If anything, the words “sexual orientation” should be added to existing anti-discrimination laws.

    That WAS the bill. That’s it. I have no idea what you think the bill was, but wherever you got your information, you should probably stop using them as a source for accurate information.

    As for Microsoft, I am an employee and I received Steve Ballmer’s email this morning. I’m satisfied with how the company has dealt with this mistake. It was a mistake for them to stop supporting this bill, and the thousands of employees who signed an internal petition here made that very clear to the company’s leadership.

    Companies are members of a society. They do not operate in a bubble, and the social movements of a nation do effect them, and companies need to respond accordingly. The opposition to this bill is rooted in unfounded prejudice and beliefs that were contrary to Microsoft’s vision of progress in the world. Microsoft will succeed through globalization, and globalization requires tolerance. For Microsoft not to take an active position opposing intolerance is clearly against their business interests, and this is something that I’m glad the leadership figured out.

    Will anti-gay groups in the United States boycott Microsoft now? Probably. But these groups have already decided that they have no interest in being a major player in the 21st century. They’ve already made very clear decisions that teaching faith is more important than teaching science, while the rest of the world is going in the opposite direction and striving to become the world leaders in technology. Already, there are many more new employees in the software industry coming from the far east than from the U.S. and in 20 years, Microsoft will be selling so much software in the developing world, from China to India to Indonesia to Russia, that they won’t need to sell software to the Americans who doubt evolution any more. They’ve decided to miss the boat, and when they follow through on that decision, they’ll stopped mattering to companies like Microsoft.

    Consumer product companies like McDonalds and Starbucks have proven that the key to becoming a powerful global company is to embrace tolerance and progressive ideals. It’s just smart business, and necessary for the 21st century. There’s no good business reason to kowtow to the clowns who are moving back to the 19th century.

  8. 10

    jpgee spews:

    chardonnay @ 7, Do you mean that the legislature only meets every two years? I know I haven’t paid enough attention to our state politics but I thought the legislature met every year. Or maybe our resident right wingers have called for a special election this year to change my beautiful blue state to another color. Please clarify for me. Thanks

  9. 11

    Mickymse spews:

    @1 — Agreed. But the stupid language was added as an amendment by conservative Dems and Repubs in the House in order to get their votes in favor.

    @4 & 6 — No “gay lobby.” Lots and lots of MS employees sending e-mails, citizens writing letters, and calls to the corporate offices. This was grassroots at its best.

    @8 — Sure, C. Let’s just scrap all the anti-discrimination laws, right? No one needs to be protected based on their sex, race, religious beliefs, etc. Let’s just go back to the days when bigoted, old, white landowners controlled everything. Oh, wait… now they just own corporations instead of land.

  10. 14

    spews:

    chardonnay @ 7, Do you mean that the legislature only meets every two years? I know I haven’t paid enough attention to our state politics but I thought the legislature met every year. Or maybe our resident right wingers have called for a special election this year to change my beautiful blue state to another color. Please clarify for me. Thanks

    jpgee:

    The state Legislature does meet every year. Even year sessions are shorter than odd ones, though, because they don’t have to prepare a budget.

  11. 16

    GS spews:

    Thank God the even year sessions are shorter. I would have rather had the whole damn bunch of them stay home this session for the crap they passed! Thank god the Citizens will have the last say on this crap through the initiative process!

  12. 17

    chardonnay spews:

    jpgeeeee
    I was refering to election years for congress. do need every single detail spelled out? no wonder you are a democrat.

  13. 19

    zip spews:

    Say Goldy,

    Nice subterfuge calling out three Republican Senators instead of the two Democrats responsible for HB 1515 failing. This is a 100% Democrat bill and the Democratic party is solely responsible for it’s failure. You guys couldn’t even get it passed with full control of Olympia this session.

    Microsoft has nothing whatsoever to do with this bill. It is a clever ruse that you and the MSM are playing to keep hounding Microsoft and the Republican legislators over this, but the only people taken in by this ruse are the Lefties and they have been taken in already. So WTF? Microsoft’s statement accomplishes nothing.

  14. 20

    dj spews:

    zip @ 19

    “Nice subterfuge calling out three Republican Senators instead of the two Democrats responsible for HB 1515 failing. This is a 100% Democrat bill and the Democratic party is solely responsible for it’s failure.”

    Come on, zip, take a smart pill.

    How many Senate Democrats voted against HB 1515?
    How many Senate Republican voted against HB 1515?

    Any questions?

  15. 21

    dj spews:

    thehim @ 9

    Thank you for the thoughtful and informative post!

    I want to reiterate one point you made. The bill is not about protecting homosexuals. It is about protecting all people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. From the house bill analysis here:

    “The Law Against Discrimination is amended to prohibit discrimination based on a persons sexual orientation. “Sexual orientation” is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity.”

    The right to be free from discrimination “applies to employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions, insurance, and commerce.”

  16. 22

    thehim spews:

    Microsoft has nothing whatsoever to do with this bill. It is a clever ruse that you and the MSM are playing to keep hounding Microsoft and the Republican legislators over this, but the only people taken in by this ruse are the Lefties and they have been taken in already.

    The mainstream media? Huh? The Stranger originally wrote this story, and it was elevated by bloggers. Exactly how do you define mainstream media?

  17. 23

    thehim spews:

    Hey DJ,

    Thanks for the clarification. We had a guy stop by the Montlake about a month ago who was working on the bill, and he filled us in on a lot of the details. After hearing that, I was amazed that this vote was even close.

  18. 24

    zip spews:

    dj

    Your Democrats control all branches of our state government. Why in the world do you expect Republicans to push a controversial bill like this over the top if the Democrat leadership can’t even get their own party to pass it? Ever heard of “politics”, Einstein?

    As for the merits of the bill, do some research on how many lawsuits from “anti discrimination” laws actually stem from wrongful discharge as opposed to discrimination during hiring. What the zealots fail to realize is that anti-discrimination laws like this make small businesses less likely to hire memebrs of a protected class, because they are worried that they will be hit with a wrongful discharge suit if they ever have to lay the person off. That is the real world, bud.

  19. 25

    zip spews:

    thehim

    The Seattle Times and every radio station on the AM dial after Microsift announced this. Mainstream enough?

  20. 26

    Karl spews:

    @11- Not so, or not totally. Microsoft got pounded by other outside issues. That Balmer only mentioned the internal emails is fine, but it is merely spin control to spread warm fuzzies.

    According to the news: “In late April, Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, asked Microsoft to return a civil rights award the group had given the company four years ago.”

    No outside influence? Not.

    @9- Corporations are not social entities, and they do not repsent any kind of social structure. They have one purpose, to drive profits. This decision was likely based on who they felt they could afford to piss off. With a constant barrage of complaints of Corporate influence in governments, my general rule is the farther away business stay from government the better.

    As for your complaints which you clearly direct at christians, I think your focus on evolution marks you somewhat. There is also something called intelligent design, and it supports both evolution and creationism. Look it up. Last, you are correct that MS is heading international, but you might want to remember that many other world religions oppose gay rights too, so that is moot.

    And as for the bill, I am concerned about it for two reasons. One, someone explain why you would want to exempt real estate transactions? Shouldn’t housing discrinimation continue? And also, I wonder if there is any thought to the fact that churches and such have paid staff, and this bill effectively forces them to not discriminate in hiring even if their faith opposes it. Had the bill passed it would have likely been challanged.

    Personally, I don’t mind any of it, but I see the potential. I work at MS and support workplace diversity.

    I just don;t support corporate intrusion into government, nor do I support employees forcing their employer to do said lobbying.

    Just my 2cents.

  21. 27

    C spews:

    There is also something called intelligent design, and it supports both evolution and creationism.igent design is just another wrapper for putting the Book of Gensis into science classrooms, i.e., killing science. The christian taliban hates science because it discredits their laughable superstition.

  22. 28

    Richard Pope spews:

    I took the trouble to actually read the text of HB 1515. It appears that the Senate Democrats were the ones overreaching on this bill and trying to pull a fast one on Washington voters.

    The bill passed the House with the support of several Republicans. When it went to the Senate, it was referred to the Committee on Financial Institutions, Housing & Consumer Protection (FHC committee).

    The Senate FHC committee proposed scrapping the passed House bill in its entirety, and instead adopting a highly similar bill, but with several important changes in wording and meaning.

    For example, Section 4 of the House-passed HB 1515 would have added the following definition to RCW 49.60.040, which gives definitions relevant to prohibited discrimination:

    (17) “Creed” means a system of religious beliefs and religious expressions, including moral and ethical beliefs and expressions about right and wrong that are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views

    However, the Senate FHC committee amendment would have completely eliminated this definition of “creed” from HB 1515.

    The Senate FHC committee amendment also added an “emergency” clause, that was designed to prevent HB 1515 from being subject to a referendum:

    NEW SECTION. Sec. 19 This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.”

    Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been permitted under state law ever since Washington was admitted in 1889, and under the common law of the United States for several centuries. There was obviously no “emergency” that would threaten the survival of state government such that HB 1515 would need to become law immediately, instead of possibly waiting for an up-or-down vote by the people in a referendum in November.

    Instead, the so-called “Democrats” were merely trying to prevent the people from being given any opportunity to vote on HB 1515 in a referendum. How “democratic” of the misnamed “Democrat” party!

    Given the procedural shenanigans attempted by the Senate Democrats, it is not the least bit surprising that every single Republican in the Senate voted against HB 1515, along with two of the most principled Democrats.

    Had the Democrats played fair with HB 1515, it probably would have passed in the Senate, and been signed into law — although opponents might very well have given the people the opportunity to vote on the law in a referendum in November.

  23. 29

    zip spews:

    Goldy

    Richard Poe informs us all of some relevant facts behind this bill’s failure. You have posted countless rants claiming that the Republican bigots, Microsoft, the Pastor, etc. were the ccasue of this bill’s failure. You never once mentioned or even hinted about the facts outlined by Richard above.

    Your omission shows that as far as HB 1515 goes you are either ignorant or are partisanly trying to twist the facts to suit your agenda. “Preaching to the choir”. That habit of yours will continue to reduce your credibility as a source of information, you will slip further into the “partisan hack” category, unless you clean up your act.

    You should fess up and admit that the Democratic leadership’s boneheadedness as outlined by Richard above at least contributed to the bill’s failure.

  24. 31

    Karl spews:

    C,

    Calling people who have a different faith presentation then you do the “christian taliban” is patently unfair.

    I personally don’t feel threatened by evolution, since as a concept it is clearly true. The only issue between it and creationism is whether intelligent design caused it or if it was random.

    An intelligent evaluation of the two positions is not that hard to do, and when done shows that evolution is not threatened by the concept of intelligent design, whether that intelligence is God or Aliens.

    Personally I don’t worry about it. I can teach my children alternate viewpoints at home if I choose.

    I do think the fact that children taught thusly are ridiculed in classrooms however, is another example of those demanding tolerance not giving it.

    Leave people room to disagree, and find the common grounds. Leave the name calling to Ann Coulter and Michael Moore.

  25. 32

    Richard Pope spews:

    Also, don’t forget the definition of “sexual orientation” that would have been added to RCW 49.60.040 by Section 4 of the bill as amended by the Senate HFC committee:

    (15) “Sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. “Gender expression or identity” means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth

    This would go far beyond simply requiring employers to treat gays and lesbians equally with everyone else. The “gender expression or identity” would require employers to allow their male employees dress up in distinctly women’s clothing, or vice versa. Employers would have to allow a man to wear a dress, hose, and open-toed shoes to work. And an employer would not even have the right to require the man to prove he really was a “transvestite” — the statute would let a man go to work that way just because he wanted to.

    When the Senate HFC committee expanded the “sexual orientation” defintion and eliminated the definition of religious “creed” altogether, you really have to wonder about their motivations.

    As for the emergency clause added by the Senate HFC committee in an attempt to prevent a referendum, I have looked at analagous bills offered in previous sessions, and can’t find any evidence that such a bone-headed stunt was ever attempted in the past.

    For example, HB 1809 offered in the 2003-04 legislature was virtually identical to HB 1515 as passed by the House this year. It included the same definition for religious “creed” and a narrowly definition of “sexual orientation”, and of course, did not have any emergency clause.

    The Senate HFC committee amendment to HB 1515 was attempted to be shoved through at the last minute in one of the final days of the legislative session. Probably a lot of senators were confused and caught off-guard, and more would have voted against it if they had been better informed.

    When future legislative sessions meet, opponents will be much more aware and organized. Even if the cross-dressing definition is absent, it will become ingrained into people’s minds, and will make voting against the bill much easier in the future. It will probably have a tough time passing the House next time and zero chance in the Senate.

  26. 33

    dj spews:

    Richard Pope,

    Thank you for the detailed analysis. This certainly helps me understand why the Senate version got put down. (At the same time, it makes me think the Democrats can likely get this through with a little self-control). It is great to see someone like you dig more deeply into the issue and provide such illumination.

  27. 34

    Richard Pope spews:

    Also, let’s don’t forget the history of Initiative 677 in 1997, which would have merely prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment. It failed by 666,073 YES votes to 985,169 NO votes — or 59.66% NO. It even failed in King County, although narrowly. Only liberal San Juan County approved this measure.

    Section 7(2) of Initiative 677 defined: “The term “sexual orientation” means heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation, real or perceived, or having a self-image or orientation not traditionally associated with one’s biological gender, real or perceived.”

    This is not nearly as broad as what the Senate HFC amendment to HB 1515 would have done regarding transvestitism. Even so, opponents were able to raise the spectre of men being able to wear women’s clothing to work willy-nilly. While this interpretation would have been a stretch under Initiative 677, the amended language of HB 1515 would allow exactly that.

    Frankly, the amended language of HB 1515 would allow workers to do just about anything related to the expansive definition of “gender expression or identity” and get away with it. The language certainly is not limited to transvestites, real or imagined. If a woman (or girl) wants to wear a skimpy halter top to express her “gender identity”, then her employer may very well have to put up with it, restaurants will have to seat her, and school dress codes will go by the wayside.

  28. 35

    Richard Pope spews:

    Oh by the way, guess who sponsored Initiative 677? Suzanne Thomas, a Seattle employment attorney and active Democrat. Ms. Thomas was also the attorney who represented Janet Capps, the woman who was fired by Gregoire in 2000 over the missed DSHS $17 million appeal, then sued Gregoire, and won a few hundred thousand dollars in settlement a few months before the 2004 election. Makes things very interesting. Ms. Thomas gave $50 to Gregoire in 2000, but didn’t give her any money last year.

  29. 36

    PBJ spews:

    Microsoft saying anything about this either for or against it is irrelevant. Let me say I personally think that it is reasonable to expect that people cannot discriminate against people because they are gay.

    But why Microsoft? Why not a hullabaloo about Boeing or or some other company? Microsoft is in the software business. I think their neutral position is appropriate for a business. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The very same people who condemn the pastor’s threats of boycott are the same ones threatening one if Microsoft doesn’t tow their line.

    If the majoriy of people want this passed, they should contact their representatives.

  30. 37

    thehim spews:

    Richard,
    If what you say is true, I’m obviously disappointed with the Democrats in our legislature. I was given info on this bill before those changes and wasn’t aware of that. It helps explain some of my shock on why a pretty straightforward bill didn’t pass.

    And zip,
    I wasn’t talking about Microsoft’s recent announcement, I was talking about the original story. That was nowhere to be found in the mainstream media.

  31. 38

    Mark spews:

    I don’t think it was a complete about turn. I still think Ballmer is having a bet both ways. He seems to equate ‘both sides’ of the argument in the sense that he says diversity is really about gays and the religious right ‘mutually respecting’ one another. As if that is ever going to happen.

  32. 39

    spews:

    Repentance in Redmond?
    I read today that Microsoft has now apparently reversed its position and will be supporting state and federal anti-discrimination legislation in the future. Per Steve Ballmer’s announcement May 6: After looking at the question from all sides, I’ve c…

  33. 40

    C spews:

    Calling people who have a different faith presentation then you do the “christian taliban” is patently unfair.not a matter of “faith presentation,” whatever that is. We have the christian taliban trying to put science and superstition on an equal plane. I’m calling a spade a spade. These people are bible-thumping wackos.

    An intelligent evaluation of the two positions is not that hard to do, and when done shows that evolution is not threatened by the concept of intelligent design, whether that intelligence is God or Aliens.led “intelligent design” is nothing more than superstition in new clothing. If you want to go to church and pray to it, fine. But keep your religion out of science classes. It doesn’t belong there.

    Personally I don’t worry about it. I can teach my children alternate viewpoints at home if I choose.s right, and I wouldn’t challenge your right to turn your children into bible-thumping idiots if that’s what you want to do. I’m confident that, if you do a good job of it, I will run into them someday in the future. They were be standing behind a counter, wearing a hairnet, asking me if I’d like fries with that Coke. Just keep your superstitions out of the public schools.

    I do think the fact that children taught thusly are ridiculed in classrooms however, is another example of those demanding tolerance not giving it.as nothing to do with tolerance. You and your fellow christian wingnut wackos want to inject superstition into the science curriculum. You are no different than the Catholic church in the 16th century.

  34. 41

    Karl spews:

    C,

    Thanks for proving my point so effectively.

    Why is it liberals must resort to cheap shot arguments? The only reasonable explanation, is that you have no valid position, so you attack as a defense

    At no time in any of this did I resort to any vitriol or name calling, yet you, knowing nothing about me, called me a “christian wingnut wacko”ate that I am part of the “Christian Taliban” I want to turn my children into “bible-thumping idiots”ther insult my children’s learning potential by insisting they “will be standing behind a counter, wearing a hairnet, asking me if I’d like fries with that Coke”son is a Freshman at Sacramento State and my daughter is an honor student at her High School, because I taught them to think intelligently by examining all data based on its merits, using logic not stereotypes, and not to respond to honest discussions with ad hominem personal attacks, insults and knee jerk arguments.

    Pity they understand what honest debate is and you don’t.

    I try to support mutual understanding and moderation, you just want hate and stereotypes. Have fun, you are no longer worth my time to respond to, unless you have some honest issue to discuss. If I want vitriol, I have Al Franken, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore. I don’t need it here.

    Between the two of us, its you who is the bigot, not me.

  35. 42

    Karl spews:

    Fixing text cut off by the html tags…

    At no time in any of this did I resort to any vitriol or name calling, yet you, knowing nothing about me, called me a “christian wingnut wacko”, insinuate that I am part of the “Christian Taliban” insist I want to turn my children into “bible-thumping idiots”and further insult my children’s learning potential by insisting they “will be standing behind a counter, wearing a hairnet, asking me if I’d like fries with that Coke”

    My son is a Freshman at Sacramento State and my daughter is an honor student at her High School, because I taught them to think intelligently by examining all data based on its merits, using logic not stereotypes, and not to respond to honest discussions with ad hominem personal attacks, insults and knee jerk arguments.

  36. 43

    zip spews:

    Goldy

    Still waiting for you to comment on the “new” information posted above by Richard Pope. Of course, it’s only “new” if you were ignorant of it when you slandered everybody who voted against HB 1515. It would be big of you to acknowledge that the responsibilty for the failure of the bill is with the boneheads in the Democratic leadership and maybe the Republicans and Microsoft are not bigots.

    This is a great example of the over-reaching the Democrat party always reverts to when they get into power. If they had just kept the details of the bill reasonable maybe it would have passed.

    If you truly believe that there presently is discrimination against gays that can only be mitigated by passing this bill, one would think you’d call these boneheads out instead of constantly and repetitively trying to deflect blame onto the Republicans, Microsoft and the pastor.

  37. 44

    Karl spews:

    C,

    By the way, you made my blog tonight. Its called why are liberals so rude, and its inspired by you my friend.

    And no…I didn’t post a link. I am not here to advertise.

    Thanks.

  38. 45

    Puddybud spews:

    To the poster who said that Microsoft will be making inroads into Asia, doesn’t know about Malaysia, Indonesia or other Muslim countries where being caught as a homosexual or lesbian is a death sentence. Where we coddle and say “John Couey you are a bad man for killing little Jessica in Florida”, they EXECUTE homos in Muslim countries. Just look up what happened to the guy found guilty for raping little boys. He was hanged and his body left in the town square. Or last year in Saudi Arabia when the man was caught in a homo act. Death by sword if I remember.

    If you don’t understand about the Muslim religion, leaving a body hanging more than a few hours in public is a disgrace to you. No heaven for you buddy. The reason Osama and other Wahabbist leaders are upset with Western Civilization is the open flaunting of issues abhorrent to their religious beliefs. Just like Mohammad Atta would not have gotten into the cockpit if the seat was made of pigskin as he would have been ritualistically unclean before his death, don’t you think they will investigate the software being used as ritualistically unclean? If they touch it they are ritualistically unclean. You guys on the left have no clue about religious issues because you are so unreligious in your thinking.

    I used to go to Turkey, a secular muslim country. I stayed at a beautiful hotel on the Anatolean (Asian side) of Istanbul in a seven story hotel with a casino in it. Turkish citizens were forbidden to go into the casino, like it is in the Bahamas for the most part. I went down for breakfast and looked at all the meats. I asked if they were pork and they said “Oh no, we are a muslim country, we would be unclean to touch pork.” So if they touch it they are unclean, what about M$oft software?

    Pudster

  39. 47

    C spews:

    Karl, there is no “honesty” in a debate when a wingnut tries to promote “intelligent design.” It’s a crackpot anti-science put forth by religious zealots bent on restoring the medieval mindset. See, just like you wackos claim, I believe in absolute truths.

    The theory of evolution is a theory not a scientific law. This means it can be toppled. But not be recycled scripture invented by a bunch of wingnuts who think that a slick label is going to prevent people from seeing what they’re doing.

    Your attempt to put a “reasonable” face on medieval theocracy is laughable. For all I know, the wingnuts will succeed in their quest, in which case they’ll have handed the civilized world several categories of knowledge that they’ll use while we plunge backward in time.

    All so you can feel pious. If you weren’t so serious, I’d laugh.

  40. 48

    Karl spews:

    C,

    I don’t care to topple it. I embrace evolution as a part of intelligent design. It works for me as a way to reconcile a belief in a creator with some of the scientific fact in the world.

    Maybe I am naive. Oh well, its my belief not yours.

    This difference between you and me bub is that I respect the fact that we have different views, and I have never once tried to force my beliefs on anyone in the public sector. I don’t advocate the removal of evolution from schools like some of the hardline religious people you love to hate. I have never once tried to promote literal biblican creationism.

    But keep setting up your little straw man. Maybe someone will happen by and take the bait.

    Until then, enjoy the lofty pious feeling your bigotry provides you.

    Does it actual serve some deep seated need for superiority to call me names, and makes broad stroke accusations against me?

    I wish I could help you by becoming the howling fanatic you think anyone who believes in God is, but I just can’t.

    Oh, and I am Catholic, so if you want, there is another source of Ad Hominem attacks you can use.

    Feel free.

  41. 49

    C spews:

    If you want to stick so-called “intelligent design” into the public schools, you’re seeking to imposing your religion there. Keep your religion in church. Now that you’ve got that wingnut pope, you ought to be getting all the strokes you need every Sunday.

  42. 51

    C spews:

    I’m not insulting you as a Catholic. I’m insulting your wingnut pope. But that’s just in passing. Our main argument is about your pathetic attempt to put a Pat Robertson-like smile onto medieval theocracy. “Intelligent design” is an attempt to stick a chloroform rag over rational teaching of biology. The evanglical wingnuts just hate science, and they will tell any lie they can get away with to eradicate it from the schools.

    Karl, if you want to make your children into imbeciles, fine. Want to send them to some wingnut academy where they can train to be waiters and janitors? Great. Just keep your ignorant mitts off the public schools.

  43. 52

    karl spews:

    I am actually waiting for you to show me anywhere i have advocated changing anything about public schools.

    Of all the stupid accusations you keep making, that one is the most ridiculas since I specifically said I have no desire to force my belief on anyone.

    And as I said, my kids are worlds smarter then you, who cannot seem to read. By the way, my kids think you are a riot. My younger son wants to know if you want fries with that.

    I am advocating what I believe personally, not what I demand be taught in a public sector. You are the bigot, the one who attacks religion when it isnt harming you. Nothing I believe is threat to anyone, and in my own home my kids have the right to make their own choices. Yet you attack me, and insult them. The wingnut acadamy my son attends is called California State University, Sacramento.

    My beliefs are no threat to you, except that they are proof that what you so passionately believe is not universally accepted, which apparently offends your insecurities.

    Whatever. I will never understand your insistence on being rude and insulting. Makes me wonder what your parents taught you, and what liberal acadamy you went to, that taught assumptions over facts, rudeness over politeness and bigotry over tolerance.

    You must have been protesting a church that day.

  44. 53

    Steven ODell spews:

    Microsoft shouldn’t be taking a stance either way. What business do they have speaking indirectly for all their employees (the net result). If Billy-boy wants to take a personal stand, let him, but let him also shut up when it comes to telling the employees HOW to approach the matter. He oversteps his bounds there.

  45. 54

    Steven ODell spews:

    C @ 49–“If you want to stick so-called “intelligent design” into the public schools, you’re seeking to imposing your religion there.”

    It’s called “equal time”, dude. If the libs can try to force it into the media, then why not into the schools? At least your kids would be getting a balanced education and be better informed (if you have any). And last I knew the Supreme Court had recognized secular humanism (read as : atheism) as a religion–non-prophet, to be sure, but still a “belief system”, which is what religion or faith is–look it up.

  46. 55

    Steven ODell spews:

    C @ 51–“…attempt to stick a chloroform rag over rational teaching of biology.” Seems to me that is exactly what the evolutionists are trying to do—or is it put a gag and blindfold over any attempt at balanced thought and expression?

    Freedom of expression, my backside. What are you so afraid of–the comparison? Stand the two lines of thought up together and let the students decide for themselves. After all, isn’t that what you libs want–freedom to choose, no matter what it may lead you to in the end?

  47. 56

    C spews:

    Public school science classes should teach science, not wingnut religion. You don’t give “equal time” in a science class. It’s not a debate. If O’Dell and Karl want their kids to learn superstition, then send them to a wingnut academy. Keep your hands off the public schools.

  48. 58

    C spews:

    Another Republican lie. There’s plenty of substance in my accusation. You and O’Dell are pushing “intelligent design” into the public schools. It is nothing more than relabeled creationism, which is a theological concept. If you want to believe it, I neither can nor would stop you. People get to think whatever they want to, but they don’t get to inject religion into the public school science curriculum.

    “Intelligent design” does not belong in the public school science curriculum because it is a religious idea. Religion belongs in the church, wingnut. Yours.

  49. 59

    Karl spews:

    I doubt it, since I am not republican. I have registered independent for the last 20 years.

    And why would you asusme the only people who believe in God are Republicans?

    What about your boy Kerry? He is a fellow catholic, yet I doubt you assail him or accuse his kids of being idiots.

    Typical.

  50. 60

    C spews:

    Last time I looked, Kerry wasn’t demanding that the Yahoo Agenda be forced on the public schools. “Intelligent Design.” Talk about your misnamed items. Before we even consider this, let’s require that it be accurately labeled: “Idiot Superstition.”

  51. 61

    karl spews:

    Idiot Superstition?

    So basically you cannot refute the scientific merits, of it, but as long as you can give it an insulting label, then its bad and you’re good?

    Ok, works for me. If it makes you happy.

    See the difference between you and me is I don’t care if you are trying to force your agenda on me because I have no agenda to force on you. My beliefs are mine alone.

    Enjoy your superiority.

  52. 62

    TAP spews:

    Back on the subject of Gay Rights, I think it would be a mistake to give a group of people special rights just because they belong to a particular group. Could you imagine passing legislation to a group of car enthusiasts, Ford Mustang owners, for example, that said you can not discriminate against people who own a Ford Mustang. That would be kind of strange. So it is with Gay rights. Just because two guys or two gals have sex together should not entitle them to have special rights. Any two people having sex together when they are not married (one man to one women)are committing fornication. In this society hardly anyone gives it a second thought. Only religeous people seem to care. If a landlord wants to discriminate against two unmarried people living together as if they were married, (shacking up) why should he not be allowed to? Its the landlords property. He should be able to govern what goes on there. Fornicators can find plenty of other places to do there thing. The trouble is that religeous people shine light on an area (a persons conscience) that they would rather leave dark.