Apple Stands Up for Equal Rights with $100K Contribution to Defeat Prop. 8 in California

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UPDATE: This piece has been edited for clarity on the timeline for the legality of same-sex marriage in California.

Citing the vote as an issue of “a person’s fundamental rights,” Apple today made a $100,000 contribution to the NO on 8 campaign, an effort to defeat a measure on next Tuesday’s ballot in California that would overturn the state’s laws permitting same-sex couples to marry.

Apple’s contribution and public stance supporting the No on 8 campaign is noteworthy not only because it is rare for the company to take a public position on political matters, but also because it helps combat the effects of millions of dollars that have been spent by out-of-state religious groups on TV advertisements threatening dire consequences if gays are allowed the right to marry.

California gays and lesbians were first able to marry in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom arranged for ceremonies at City Hall. Conflicting rulings at the state level confused the issue until the California Supreme Court ruled this year to allow gay marriages throughout the state on equal protection grounds.

The Apple announcement came on the heels of similar public support for defeating the Proposition from Google. Sergey Brin, CEO of the Mountain View-based company wrote in the company blog, “we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument [but] we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.”

Apple’s Hot News release on the matter says, “Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.”

64 responses to “Apple Stands Up for Equal Rights with $100K Contribution to Defeat Prop. 8 in California”

  1. Warren Sanford says:

    This is wonderful-Subaru will be my new car purchase because I could not get Saturn of Elk Grove to extend the same courtesy and dignity after we have purchased 3 vehicles from them-wonderful from Apple and Google-I wish more people would search their hearts and loyalties and vote with their pocketbook-there is no need to support an economy that will not suppoer our families.

    Thank You Big Tech!

    Warren Sanford
    Sacramento
    NO ON H8

  2. Carlos Diaz says:

    I think Apple should stay out of any political matters. If they have any particular opinions on a subject, they should keep it to themselves. I bet most loyal Apple customers, i.e. myself, do not have the same opinion that Apple does on this matter. I feel that, by buying Mac, I am contributing to the “No on 8” campaign, therefore I am taking initiative and boycotting Apple for the time of the election. The point I am trying to get across is not to hurt Apple, but to make them understand that not all their customers share their political views and they should stay out or remain neutral on any political matters.
    If anyone shares my opinion I ask to please spread the word and boycott Apple as well. Thanks.

  3. MacAdvisor says:

    The stated information, “California gays and lesbians have been able to marry since 2004” is incorrect. While San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom did order the county clerk (San Francisco has a unique governance structure in California, it is both a city and a county, thus it has a mayor, like a city, and a county clerk, like a county) to issue licenses to same-sex couples. However, that activity was stopped by order of the California Supreme Court in March of that year and all licenses issued were later invalidated. California gays and lesbians were not able to marry until the same California Supreme Court invalidated the ban on same sex marriages in May of this year.

  4. Stop Smoking says:

    bravo, apple!
    bravo, google!

    hello, yahoo???

  5. The Crazy Christian says:

    I hope Apple will donate when I promote a Proposition promoting polygamy.

  6. Martijn says:

    From an European perspective, I feel disgusted by the way every US political issues seems to be hijacked by extremist pressure groups, leading to something that I see as nothing less than a civil war.

    ‘Buy Apple to support the fags’, ‘Boycot Apple to keep the fags out of our classrooms’ and every other subtle statement in between.

    I don’t think about these kind of issues when I visit an Apple store, but I think it’s a sign on the wall that any company at all should feel to speak out on civil rights issues.

  7. Curtis Carmack says:

    Lonnie,

    One thing you left out of the time line (and that is pretty important background information) is that in 2000 California voters passed Proposition 22 formally defining marriage in California as being between a man and a woman. This law was overturned by the California Supreme Court this year on state constitutional grounds, leading to the placing of Proposition 8 on the ballot, which essentially converts the former law into a constitutional provision so that it cannot be overturned by the California Supreme Court.

    Curt

  8. angus Shangus says:

    Good on you Apple. Voting against someone’s Civil Rights is lame. Anyone for the ban on same sex marriages might as well also be against the Civil Rights legislation measures of the 60s.

  9. David says:

    A lot of the people that work at apple are gay, so it would be a huge insult to their workers not to support a prop that directly affects their lives.

  10. David says:

    Support, sorry.

  11. E Johns says:

    Apple are treating this as a civil rights issue when it is actually a children’s rights issue. The whole mother-father idea of marriage and raising children depends on the institution of marriage not be modified or debased in any way. Apple have lost my support (loyal since 1984). I call on all people of conscience to consider not purchasing Apple products worldwide. Perhaps then they wouldn’t have the spare cash to meddle with morality and the natural family unit.

  12. Shame on Apple says:

    You mean Apple donates money to promote perversion. Sorry for all you politically correct promoters on homosexuality but it’s just wrong. 10 cents worth of common sense would tell you that it’s absolutely abnormal for people to desire sex with people of the same sex. You know that’s true even though you will protest and argue forever. This just happens to be your personal abnormality (we all have one or two) and you want everyone to approve it and pretend it’s normal.

    Shame on Apple

  13. EOTC says:

    These “Equal Rights” were created by 3 judges, redefining what marriage has been for over 3,000 years.

  14. charli says:

    okay here it is. If you disagree, don’t buy Apple. Sell your stock, go back to using Windows machines. but frankly gay couples have gotten married and the world hasn’t ended yet. so that whole dire results the day there is a same sex marriage is bunk. also, excuse me ‘children’s rights’. A child deserves a happy home that is safe and secure with loving parents. and you can NOT tell me that a male-female marriage is the way to guarantee that. not when I have worked at shelters for battered and abused children. the results of their parents kicking the shit out of them. that’s right Mom and Dad in their holy and sanctioned ‘proper’ marriage. One kid I worked with was adopted by his gay uncle and the uncle’s partner and the boy is thriving. so you tell me what was the right thing to do by that kid.

  15. Andrew says:

    Its not wrong, its just not what the religious right is willing to accept.

    Apple is a corporation in a liberal state, with prominent liberals on its board of directors, and has chosen, as many companies do, to support an issue that matters to its employees and board members.

    Big oil companies support all sorts of propositions and heavily subsidize Republican candidates, but you don’t see any outcry to determine which oil companies sponsor which provisions and which candidates so they can be effectively boycotted. I buy gas based on convenience of the station, price and quality, with no consideration of corporate consciousness.

    I am voting no on 8 and actually consider it a major issue of this election. I am not gay, but have friends who are, and I absolutely believe that their right to marry, to have visitation and survivor benefits and tax benefits of marriage, and to live their lives in the open is every bit as valid as my right to do the exact same things with my wife.

    That said, even if Apple was on the opposite side politically, I would still buy their products because, they are just better products. It is absolutely ludicrous to even consider moving to Windows just because you don’t like Apple’s donation to a political issue.

  16. AAPLWatcher says:

    ” I bet most loyal Apple customers, i.e. myself, do not have the same opinion that Apple does on this matter”

    Based on what evidence? You have some deep insight into what “most loyal Apple customers” believe, i.e. that they think like you do? How open minded of you :p

  17. AAPLWatcher says:

    ” I bet most loyal Apple customers, i.e. myself, do not have the same opinion that Apple does on this matter”

    Based on what evidence? You have some deep insight into what “most loyal Apple customers” believe, i.e. that they think like you do? How open minded of you :p

  18. AAPLWatcher says:

    “10 cents worth of common sense would tell you that it’s absolutely abnormal for people to desire sex with people of the same sex. You know that’s true even though you will protest and argue forever. “

    Wrong.

  19. Deocliciano says:

    Who decide WHAT is abnormal?
    Who I am I to interfere in anyone LIFE?
    Am I SO insecure of my sexuality THAT it MindBugs me What others DO with their sexual organ?

    I see mens of god (? – I guess DEVIL!) – priests blessing soldirs – Isn’t KILLIN’ the most abnormal thing?

  20. Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira says:

    Who decide WHAT is abnormal?
    Who am I to interfere in anyone LIFE?
    Am I SO insecure of my sexuality THAT it MindBugs me What others DO with their sexual organ?

    I see mens of god (? – I guess DEVIL!) >> priests blessing soldiers head-in’ to war – Isn’t KILLIN’ the most abnormal thing?

    SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!! >>>>>Shame on Apple

  21. Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira says:

    Who decide WHAT is abnormal?
    Who am I to interfere in anyone LIFE?
    Am I SO insecure of my sexuality THAT it MindBugs me What others DO with their sexual organ?

    I see mens of god (? – I guess DEVIL!) – priests blessing soldiers – Isn’t KILLIN’ the most abnormal thing?

    SHAME on you >>>>> shame on apple!

  22. Martijn says:

    I always wonder why if a marriage is the central backbone of family life and security for children, there are so many people divorcing and so many children abused by their own parents. Can any of thos ‘Apple is evil’ posters enlighten me on that subject?

  23. Andrew DK says:

    Marriage should be defined as between two human beings. Period.
    The government shouldn’t force any other provision on marriage while at the same time giving same sex couples the same rights as straight couples.

    For all those people with a problem, you need to realize that sexual attraction is GENETIC. We don’t get to choose if we’re gay or straight or what, just like we don’t get to choose if we’re black or white or tall or short or blond or brunette.

    If you don’t believe that than you have to accept that you’re denying scientific fact. If you do believe that and still hold firm that same sex couples shouldn’t marry or have the same rights as straight couples then you have to accept that your argument is also consistent against, say, muli-racial couples.

    But perhaps you’re against that too…

  24. -Michael says:

    Historical First

    The timeline of this article is not correct and is biased against marriage. Leaving out prop 22 in 2000 is not honest.

    Although homosexuality has been around for millennia, the idea of homosexual marriage is a first in history. Why didn’t ancient greeks or egyptians have same sex marriage? Because it doesn’t make sense. It has never been done for obvious reasons. Marriage is for a man and woman.

    Trust the vote of the people on the definition of marriage. When this issue came to ballot in 2000, marriage was defined by law as a man and woman.

    Gavin Newsom violated the law with his ceremonies and they were nullified in 2004.

    The judges stepped in and forced a vote to define marriage in the constitution. When it passes all the ceremonies will again have to be nullified. Very shameful. Apple should have stayed out of it. I will delay my purchase of an iphone until they make this right.

  25. Camperton says:

    I’ll never understand why some people are so against others living their lives the way they see fit when it hurts absolutely no one and is really none of their business. Our lives are very short, it seems like such a waste to spend them disapproving of and trying to control the lives of others who simply want to be married and be happy together. I fully agree with Apple that this is a civil rights issue.

  26. Nuh Uh says:

    I do wish Apple, and other companies, could have remained neutral. No more of my money will go to them. Sad, I love my MacBook and just bought an Ipod.

    By the way, it’s not bigotry to disagree with someone’s beliefs or actions. And marriage is not a “right”, it’s God’s original plan to join a man to his wife. You can change the definition of a word, but that doesn’t change it’s true meaning. Even a “non-religious” person can look at the human reproductive system and see that it doesn’t make sense. Anyway, this is not about “two people in love” wanting to marry. It’s about two people wanting tax breaks that apply to married people.

    I don’t believe in hating people or treating them differently. That is absolutely wrong. But I also don’t believe in lying to them and telling them what they want to hear to protect their “feelings”. Anyone who does that is definitely not a friend. So I refuse to do that. Being gay is NOT genetic. There are no “scientific facts” supporting such a statement, either.

    GOD is who decides what is normal. You may not believe in God, but that doesn’t change reality. Everyone will believe one day.

    God called homosexuality “detestable”. God wouldn’t call something a sin and then make people who couldn’t help it. It is very hard to overcome, but it can be done. It is so sad to see so many deceived by the overuse and misuse of such words as “intolerance” and “bigotry”, etc…and by well meaning people who think they are helping when they aren’t.

    God gave all of us a free will. If people make a choice to act on their homosexual feelings, so be it. But when they start infiltrating the educational system and trying to indoctrinate children to their lifestyle, that is way beyond free will.

    Gays actually do have the same opportunities as straight people. They could get counseling for their improper feelings and end up marrying a wonderful person. They choose another lifestyle instead. A lifestyle that is very difficult to live, actually. Very very unfortunate, because God made every one of those people…..and he loves them dearly.

  27. robertmerrill says:

    Lonnie,

    Your post makes it seem that Apple and Google have ridden their white horses to the rescue to “combat the effects of millions of dollars that have been spent by out-of-state religious groups”.

    Less than 20% of the money donated for Prop 8 has come from out of state. Furthermore, the AGAINST Prop 8 campaign has nearly $5M more in their war-chest than those who are FOR it.

    While its interesting that Apple and Google have chosen sides, its not really “us vs. them”, is it? Isn’t it “we”?

    Source: LA Times: http://tinyurl.com/5gjfyu

  28. Andrew DK says:

    @Nuh Uh
    Homosexuality is a choice and not genetic, huh?

    Alright, try this then: today, CHOOSE to be sexually attracted to people of the same sex and NOT sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex.

    Do it.

    For one day.

    I mean, don’t ACT on these urges that you’re CHOOSING to have ’cause that would be “detestable”. Of course.

    Just do it.

    Let me know how it goes.

  29. Nuh Uh says:

    LOL, that’s way oversimplified. One day wouldn’t be enough. But I do think that if I obsess about anything over a long period of time, my feelings are going to intensify progressively.

    I actually can’t imagine spending a whole day surrounded by any gender and “being sexually attracted” to them. Why not spend a day NOT being sexually attracted to anyone or anything at all? See people as people, and sex not be an issue. That seems really hard I know, in a world where all you see on billboards, TV, etc. are ads about sex.

    I am not sexually attracted to people of the same sex, but I do think many of them are “attractive” and could see why someone would find them desirable. Does that count? Shoot, if we all just get rid of morality then we can probably have fun and feel good doing all sorts of things.

    I don’t presume that people choose to have the urges. They do choose to act on them. Should we all act on every urge we have then? Is that the standard for society to go by? Where will it stop? When will pedophiles and murderers have their “rights” considered. After all, that’s how they feel. Or what about those people who have the “urge” to beat up homosexuals? Those are feelings too. We all have good feelings and bad feelings, up and down, and we can’t go by those to determine what’s right and what’s wrong.

    I know it’s not easy to deny strong feelings, especially for those who’ve had them for years and years. But it can be accomplished. We all have to do it in some way over most of our lives….or should. Unfortunately, many people have abandoned this skill, and chosen to act on feelings instead of using self-control.

    I apologize for sounding harsh. I also apologize for the Christians who have said hateful things and hurt many people. Homosexuals are people, and they don’t deserve to be ridiculed or hurt. And homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin of all sins. But it is a sin according to God. God loves the people, He just finds the sin “detestable”.

    I’m sorry, I know it’s a huge struggle for some people. I don’t know why certain people seem prone to things. Some members of my family, for example, seem prone to addictions (ranging anywhere from movies to alcoholism). But just because they are prone to the things, we don’t tell them it’s okay….they can’t help it. We try to help them.

    I wish i could help homosexuals, but I can’t. How do you help those who don’t think anything is wrong? I guess you just love them and pray for them.

  30. Andrew DK says:

    “I am not sexually attracted to people of the same sex, but I do think many of them are ‘attractive’ and could see why someone would find them desirable.”

    That’s exactly my point. You can’t choose to have sexual urges or not. I’m glad we agree on that.

    “Does that count?”

    Nope

    “Shoot, if we all just get rid of morality then we can probably have fun and feel good doing all sorts of things.”

    I’m just going out on a limb here and say that you wouldn’t have fun having sex with someone of the same gender, especially since you’re not sexually attractive to them as you say. Nevertheless, fun really has nothing to do with morality, right?

    “Should we all act on every urge we have then? Is that the standard for society to go by?”

    Probably not and No. Irrelevant regardless.

    “Where will it stop?”

    Where we say it stops, we do live in a democracy. This is really what we’re arguing about. For the sake of argument, ceteris paribus, lets say we believe the same things (i.e. pedophilia, murder, assault and battery should all be illegal). I believe a couple of consenting adults should have the same rights regardless of their gender. While you seam to believe that that the gender determines what rights that couple has or does not have.

    Notice I did not need to bring up God or morality or even say I care one way or the other about the life this couple wants to lead. Also notice that I say “couple” which strictly forbids polygamy, something condoned by some Christian, Jewish and Muslim sects.

    If you can give me a decent argument against this the proposal that a couple of consenting adults should have the same rights regardless of their gender and support it with evidence if need be, I’m all ears.

  31. Timothy says:

    Hooray for Apple! As a long time supporter of Apple, Good Job! Regardless of anyones personal views it IS a civil rights issue, cause today it might be gay rights but tomorrow it might be my rights . Denying anyone the same civil liberties is exclusive and only divides a community as is clearly indicated in so many ignorant and hateful comments. Some times we have to stand up for what is right, even if we’re the only ones standing. I applaud you. Thanks again Apple on behalf of myself, and my family!

  32. Cassie says:

    Dear “Shame on Apple”
    Until a few decades ago, some states considered the desire of marrying a person of a different race abnormal, and now the president is the offspring of such a relationship.. how does that make you feel?