Tech collaborates to battle Prop. 8

It’s been quite a week for Silicon Valley company announcements that go beyond selling tech. Just a couple of days ago, Google and Yahoo, along with Microsoft, announced a code of conduct relating to freedom of speech and expression in their overseas dealings. (See Google, Yahoo and Microsoft unite) Now, says BoomTown’s Kara Swisher, a new coalition of tech leaders and venture capitalists — including those from Google and Apple, which previously contributed to the fight against Proposition 8 — has formed to fight against the California initiative that seeks to ban same-sex marriage. (See And one more thing — No on Prop. 8) Other notable leaders who have signed on: Yahoo’s Jerry Yang, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, Adobe’s Chuck Geschke, former eBay exec Steve Westly, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Morgridge. The group is running a full-page ad in the main section of tomorrow’s Mercury News that will say, in part:

We are opposed to Proposition 8 because it would change our state
constitution to take away rights from one group of people. It would set our
state, and our country, back in the fight for fundamental fairness and
equal rights.

From a business standpoint, some might say that because there is quite a large number of people who have signed on to this ad, no one is truly sticking his or her neck out. That it might be a little bit “safer” now to take this stand when one is among many peers. What will advertisers and customers who agree with Proposition 8 do — stop doing business with all the companies this new coalition represents? Still, it’s refreshing and laudable that this group has been formed, and quite encouraging that so many valley leaders have signed on. Says Jerry Yang: “Silicon Valley has always
been an example for the rest of the country of how diversity and openness
help to drive innovation and value creation. This divisive measure is the
antithesis of those values that make Silicon Valley so unique.”


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  • sandybutt

    It would set our
    state, and our country, back in the fight for fundamental fairness and
    equal rights.

    Ahem! That happened when we voted for Bush and Darth Vader twice in a row!

  • James V. Koch

    I do not subscribe to to learn of the authors’ political and social viewpoints, however enlightened them may believe them to be. Give me technology news; save your political and social viewpoints for the nearest bar or the ballot box. You impose on us when you go off course.

  • Pete Stubben

    Am delighted Yang and others get together where they don’t belong. But, am a bit worried re. Yahoo the business, you know, as it’s in a near state of chaos & possible collapse. As a Silicon Valley advocate and reporter, shouldn’t you be pointing this out, instead of printing – on bended-knee – your agreement with this foolishness…PJS

  • Contraire

    I signed up for a technology newsletter, not a one-sided political editorial. Prop 8 is a controversial issue no doubt. If you’re going to suddenly force your social views on me when I’m expecting technology discussion, the least you could do is explain both groups views on this topic from an economic and social standpoint.

    As for Jerry Yang’s comment, that is a typical condescending viewpoint of a narcissistic group of social liberals who think the rest of the country worships their “superior intellect” and seeks their “knowledge” on how to define morality. Yahoo’s chronic poor track record versus competition over the years sets an example alright…a poor example.

    I’m unsubscribing.

  • viewer60

    I recall that back in 2000, the California voters voted for the provisions that marriage be defined as being between one man and one woman. Yet, the activist judges on our Supreme Court chose to defy the will of the people. As for these tech giants throwing their weight to the No on Prop 8 forces, I am more than disappointed and now somewhat skeptical as to what other political and social causes they plan to support or not support.

  • Equal Right

    Advertising in the Mercury is preaching to the choir. It would mean a lot more if they’d advertise in the Sacramento Bee, the Orange Country Register, Fresno Bee and what ever the news paper is in Bakersfield. Those of us in the sticks are smothered in Yes on 8 signs. 8 has already lost in the Bay Area, but in the rest of the state such is not the case.

  • John Reagan

    I support gay marriage. But more than that I support democracy.
    The people of the state of California overwhelmingly voted not to
    permit gay marriage. The California Supreme Court imperiously
    overruled the people. Accordingly, I’ll be voting yes on Prop 8.
    I believe in government of the people, by the people, for the people.

  • Rick Mordesovich

    Here here!!! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice and equality everywhere!! Thank you. I WILL BE VOTING — NO on Prop 8.

  • Tom Garland

    Support of gay marriage is political correctness gone mad. In the name of “tolerance” or “acceptance” these executives want to appear to the public as being progressive and/or accepting of everyone. The problem lies in where do you draw the line? What’s next? How intolerant that they don’t support pedophiles. Once you move the line, radically immoral activities suddenly don’t seem as radically immoral.

    If you push back, you’re considered “intolerant” or some other term used to invalidate your opinion. What used to be mainstream public opinion has been positioned by the media and the well heeled gay lobby as outdated and intolerant. People start to believe them and start voting accordingly.

    We have a very small minority of the population manipulating the vast majority through actions like the one the Silicon Valley executives are making.

    As stated in the opinion above, California has already voted on this and clearly voted to ban gay marriage. The fact that this is on the ballot again is because of the success the gay lobby has had in manipulating public opinion (mainly by using fear tactics and name calling) and the opinion of the judges that threw out the first ballot measure.

    Equal rights and tolerance all sound good and make you feel good when you say it. But the reality is we have to draw the line somewhere or we will have chaos. Moral boundaries have to be set by society. It’s not ok to rob a bank or murder someone. When we keep moving the line to allow more tolerance of what was once immoral, eventually there will be no difference between moral activity and immoral activity.

  • John Robino

    >> imperiously overruled the people.

    That’s what the courts are supposed to do when a law is not “in harmony with the constitution”

    Besides, what do you think the first ten amendments to the Constitution were for? Why they’re called the Bill of Rights ?

    It’s to protect individuals from the tyranny of the majority.


  • Brit Conner

    I too support equality…but that’s already been achieved. By legislated law, domestic partners in California already enjoy the exact same benefits as married partners. This was the case even before the Supremes made their ruling.

    So the issue isn’t equality, rather it is an argument over the title of the partnership.

    If that’s all the fuss is about, then I don’t have any problem with folks supporting Proposition 8.

  • All sounds a bit queer to me . . .

  • PK

    Too bad all their money (and a bit of their respect) went to waste when the people of CA spoke.

    It’s nice to see that the constitution and the American people still hold more power than some lawyer with a gavel.