Corporate Advocacy, or Public Morality Shaping? This past weekend, Internet search giant Google announced a global campaign to support the rights of gay’s and lesbians. They pitched it as a priority for them as a corporation, specifically as an ethical employer who wants all of their employees to be able to enjoy the same basic… Read more Google’s Corporate Philosophy versus Religious Morality
Corporate Advocacy, or Public Morality Shaping?
This past weekend, Internet search giant Google announced a global campaign to support the rights of gay’s and lesbians. They pitched it as a priority for them as a corporation, specifically as an ethical employer who wants all of their employees to be able to enjoy the same basic human rights regardless of what country they live in. What is NOT in this statement is an advocacy for gay marriage. But that is what many anti-gay groups will pitch this as (like the American Family Association).
Why is this a Church/State Issue, Mr. ChurchStateGuy?
Well it’s not… but it brings up some really important parallel questions. For example, what is the difference between a giant denomination saying that it won’t provide health coverage for contraceptives to it’s employees for moral reasons, but Google will advocate for what some countries that host Google consider to be “criminal behavior”. In our secular society we applaud Google’s corporate advocacy, and debase and demoralize the Catholic Church for being archaic.
For the record: I find Google’s advocacy to be extremely helpful and important. I think they have every right to express their desire for all of their employees to enjoy the same basic human rights regardless of where they live.
Here’s my complication: It needs to be said that considering the right to express one’s sexuality openly is a specifically western concept of human rights. It needs to be said that Google is a for-profit industry, not a moral authority. But, complicating the matter — I find countries that outlaw homosexuality as being horribly wrong on this issue.
Here’s my bottom line: It troubles me when corporations spend millions to influence public policy — REGARDLESS of the issue. I feel like it’s a violation of Corporation and State just as equally as when religious institutions try to influence public morality through legislation is violation of Church and State. On the other hand, it troubles me when religious institutions leave such a giant gaping hole of advocacy empty that corporations then feel the need to fill. Isn’t it possible for moderate to right-leaning religious institutions to support the human rights of the LGBT community even if they don’t support gay marriage? Am I too optimistic (or naive) for believing that’s possible?
For More Reading:
- The site the “broke the story” before Google had published their official announcement: http://dot429.com/articles/2012/07/06/google-wants-the-world-to-legalize-love
- Google’s blog on Public Policy. Interesting reading in light of all of this hubub. http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/
- Google has an already growing reputation for supporting “Pride Day” or local “Pride Parades”. Here’s their blog article on supporting Pride 2012: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/celebrating-pride-2012.html
- Google opposed California Prop 8, here’s why: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/our-position-on-californias-no-on-8.html
- MSN has a really thorough article covering this issue: http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/google-fight-homophobia-worldwide-legalize-love-campaign-869531?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
- Just one example of a clearly conservative “newspaper” pitching “Legalize Love” as “anti-religious”: ttp://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/07/google-launches-anti-religious-pro-gay-marriage-legalize-love-campaign.html
- Google’s campaign is not to be confused with the “Legalize Love Campaign” (aka: FckH8.com) http://fckh8.com/StopTalkinSHT/ Still a hilarious and poignant website.