Google is taking a huge step in the fight for marriage equality with a new global campaign called Legalize Love. The goal of the campaign is to encourage and inspire countries the world over to legalize marriage for their lesbian, gay, and bisexual citizens. I’m not completely sure, but I think this is kind of a big deal! Read more inside.
Dot429 has the full story:
The “Legalize Love” campaign officially launches in Poland and Singapore on Saturday, July 7th. Google intends to eventually expand the initiative to every country where the company has an office, and will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist.
Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe outlined the initiative at a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London earlier today. “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.
Their strategy involves developing partnerships between companies and organizations to support grass-roots campaigns.
On the decision to launch the initial phase in a country like Singapore, Palmer-Edgecumbe says, “Singapore wants to be a global financial center and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
At the end of the day, the “Legalize Love” campaign is also good for Google’s business. “We operate in many countries and have a very globally mobile workforce. We have had a number of instances where we have been trying to hire people into countries where there are these issues and have been unable to put the best person into a job in that country,” said Palmer-Edgecumbe.
Harry Gaskell, of professional services firm Ernst & Young who also spoke at the conference in London, backed the argument for combining initiatives between governments, organizations, and companies. “If you are trying to change something – governments can exert diplomatic power, NGOs can martial facts and arguments – but corporations martial economic power. That is something even the most passive of countries will listen to.”
Bob Amnnibale, an openly gay executive at Citi, also praised the initiative. “The fact that Google is so virtual and its appeal is very wide and young demographically means it can help spread messaging very, very quickly.”
What do you guys make of this launch? Obviously, there’s plenty to get excited about. Google has the power to make the fight for same-sex marriage extremely visible. And I think that’s how movements really begin to work– through visibility.
Does anybody see a downside to any of this? Will the movement enter the corporate world– and will this be a negative thing (either for Google or for the same-sex movement)? I think for any initiative to work, it needs many voices and a variety of narratives. And now that we’re seeing involvement from celebrities, non-celebrities, people in media, social media, and corporations and businesses, I think we’re seeing the beginning of something powerful. Google can easily pave the way for others to get involved, which is precisely what they seem to have in mind.