Insanely Great

October 24, 2008

Apple, Inc. today announced their opposition to California Proposition 8, and added $100,000.00 to the campaign against this measure:

No on Prop 8

October 24, 2008

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.

In the time since this announcement I've seen several postings referring to, and linking to, this announcement.  Like Proposition 8, Apple's stance against the measure is polarizing.  While there are many who are in favor of the stance Apple has taken, there are quite a few people who are opposed.  Geek & Mild, for example:
I’m stunned. It’s insane that any publicly-held company would consider taking sides in a political discourse like this. I doubt a company-wide poll was conducted in order to determine how Apple employees felt about the issue, so it’s safe to assume this statement was generated among Apple executives — most likely the board of directors. How arrogant of them.
While I strongly support every person's right to an opinion, and I understand that issues such as same-sex marriage are divisive, I find I am stunned that people don't think, or don't realize, how much corporations are involved in our political and social processes.

Corporations overtly, covertly, openly, and secretly influence the political process all the time.  The whole issue of "money as free speech" is an issue since it gives Corporations a voice in the process they otherwise wouldn't posses.  Corporations are the biggest, and unfortunately, most powerful of the "citizens" involved in the making of new laws, regulations, and standards that shape all of our lives.

I, for one, like Apple's stance on this issue.  I do not like the religious factions in this country shaping our laws and molding our country into a Christian theocracy.  One of the founding fathers of the United States, and our first President said, 

The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.
That so many people today seem bent on making it a Christian country is disturbing at least, and frightening at worst.

This week Sibylle and I visited a health club as part of our search for a new gym to work out at this winter. The membership rules stated very clearly that a "couple membership" was open only to 

(1) two legally married, per state of Kansas, individuals living in the same household; (2) two siblings over 14 but under 23 years old living in the same household; (3) parent and child over 12 years old and under 23 years old.
Sibylle and I are in a committed, long-term relationship, however, since we are not married we don't qualify for the "couple membership."  We are excluded because we aren't married, because we are different.  I don't like being excluded, no one does I believe, and I don't like legislation that seeks to exclude.

Apple, Inc. is exactly correct in stating that legalized marriage between same-sex partners is a civil rights issue.  Unfortunately it is also a politicized issue because it instantly polarizes the electorate.  Like abortion, gun control, reproduction education in schools, and immigration laws, same sex marriage is used to move the electorate in one direction or the other.

I support those companies whose products I like and use.  I also support those companies whose policies towards their employees and the greater community in which they exist I like.  If you don't like Apple's stance on Proposition 8, or even that they have a well articulated stance, then I suggest you don't support them.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.