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Google Devotes Self to Gay Rights

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World — Internet giant Google Inc. stepped up its advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights on July 7 with the launch of a “Legalize Love” campaign, timed to coincide with an annual gay-pride procession in London.

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, Google’s European diversity chief, told a London audience his company would partner with organizations around the world to promote equal rights for gays and oppose laws against homosexuality. To begin, the campaign will focus on Singapore, where Google last year became the first organization openly supporting the LGBT community. In Poland, a predominantly Roman Catholic nation that doesn’t legally recognize same-sex couples, Google staff hosted a meeting with a Polish politician to discuss civil-union laws.

The campaign isn’t specifically intended to promote gay marriage, although in 2008 Google publicly opposed California’s (now overturned) Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. “Legalize Love is our call to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world,” states a campaign page on the company’s website (google.com/diversity/legalise-love.html). In 2010 Google began offering fertility treatment assistance to its gay U.S. employees, and gave domestic partners health benefits equal to that of heterosexual couples. It promotes gay employee camaraderie through “Gayglers” networks in its offices around the world.

A short Google-produced video caused a stir this Valentine’s Day when it showed cartoon couples holding hands: a princess and frog, a dog and cat, a boy and girl, and two men in tuxedos.

Continue Reading on www.worldmag.com
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