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back to article Google plants rainbow flag in anti-gay countries

Longtime gay rights campaigner Google has kicked off a new effort to "legalise love" in countries that criminalise homosexuality. At a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London late last week, the web giant's European head of diversity and inclusion, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, reportedly outlined the initiative. According to Gay Star …

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Gay wars

Let's hope that with Tim Cook in charge of Apple there will now be a race to outdo each other to be the most gay-friendly IT behemoth out there!

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Re: Gay wars

Not really surprising when you look at it as a marketing demographic - fashionable, trendy folk with no kids and disposable income. Reality may be somewhat different, but when has that ever stopped marketing-bots?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gay wars

Apple, MS and Google are about the best places that you can work for equal rights, but they're not unusually friendly to gay staff, banks are particularly good as well - from my experience in working in financial services IT. What is unusual is that sexism seems to be tolerated in terms of dealing with countries where you wouldn't send a woman to do any sort of job which involves telling a man what to do. Saudi would be top of the list.

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Re: Gay wars

A potential fight to win the "pink pound"?

And I thought they were all just trying to be nice guys.

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Joke

Re: Gay wars

Apple ditched the rainbow from their logo years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

So with Apple on-board, the Tech-Giants will soon be suing each other over who is gayest...?

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Anonymous Coward

Who will patent their idea first....then sue others for using it?

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Trollface

"Patent 101010101: A Technique and Method for Allowing and supporting nonstandard interfaces such as Male-Male connections by repurposing system cavities as connection sockets."

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Boffin

I believe that is covered by Hamiburton's patent of Patent Trolling

"Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party", Halliburton Energy Services Inc., US patent Application 20080270152.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2008/0270152.html

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All very well...

...and, speaking as gay myself, it i always nice to hear that someone thinks equality is important, but... I would be rather more keen if they addressed intellectual property rights first. I feel a greater risk with Google wanting to steal every piece of creative work not nailed down than I do the prospect of not being able to work in Singapore.

Not that I am ungrateful, but let's not get distracted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

I'd go further to ask Google to butt out.

They risk making things worse for LGBT people in places where being any of them can lead to your state sanctioned death.

Not being able to work in Singapore is a whole lot nicer than being stoned to death as would happen in many Islamic countries and possibly some of the more conservative parts of the USA.

Anon because I don't want the crew cutted American Evangelists knocing at my door (or sending me zillions of hate spam emails)

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Re: All very well...

Tosh, that's just bowing to the situation as is. Google are to be congratulated for taking a stand.

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FAIL

Re: All very well...

Google are to be congratulated for taking a stand.

Google aren't taking a stand. They are marketing themselves. It's a pity that most people seem unable to spot the difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

@Nightfox - Do you really think that's an appropriate comment?

This is the sort of casual homophobia which is particularly poisonous. I've got news for you and all the "it's ok because I'm joking" people: It is not ok. It is not ok by a long shot, it's crude, offensive and divisive. It perpetuates 70s stereotypes, you and all the upvoters of your pathetic comment should be ashamed.

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Re: All very well...

"I've got news for you and all the "it's ok because I'm joking" people: It is not ok."

Actually, it is.

You don't get to decide what is "good humour" or "bad humour" and in particular you don't get to decide that context doesn't matter when it suits you. It does; in fact it probably matters more than anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

Actually as someone who has had these jokes directed at me, I do. As someone who has had to deal with nasty homophobic arseholes bullying him because of his sexuallity, I get to decide that your pathetic joke wasn't funny and is symptomatic of a casual homophobia which is nasty in the extreme.

I've been attacked in the street for my sexuallity by people who make these jokes, they aren't funny and people who defend them are the modern equivalent of people who defended sexist and racist jokes in the 70s and 80s. Those jokes aren't made any more, because it's not acceptable, I've got news for you: Homophobia isn't acceptable either.

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Re: All very well...

"This is the sort of casual homophobia which is particularly poisonous. I've got news for you and all the "it's ok because I'm joking" people: It is not ok. It is not ok by a long shot, it's crude, offensive and divisive. It perpetuates 70s stereotypes, you and all the upvoters of your pathetic comment should be ashamed."

As a bisexual dude, FUCK OFF.

A clever play on a company's nickname (and seemingly aimed in support of Google's initiative) is not homophobia, it's a fucking joke. If your life is so humourless that this offends you, I suggest you unplug and walk away from the Internet now. You aren't going to survive here.

I have no problem with gay rights (duh!), women's rights, or any other kind of equal rights. What I have a problem with is people who can't laugh at themselves. You perpetuate exactly the same kind of rigid, stern-faced miserable fuckpuppetry around the cause that the Muslims do whenever someone draws Mohammed in a dress. Nothing negative was said whatsoever. Get over yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

@Greg this wasn't a smart play on words, it was along the lines of "shit stabber" "shirt lifter" or "uphill gardener" I find these offensive as do the vast majority of people who I know who are gay or bi.

There is a lighting company in Italy called Clay Paky, I'm sure I could make some witty comments based on their name, but it would change the fact that those witty comments would still involve calling someone a Packy, which is utterly unacceptable. What's the difference?

You are not in a position to judge my life, humorless or not, and I'm not even sure how you managed to equate me with Islamic fundamentalists?

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Headmaster

Re: All very well...

You don't get to decide what is "good humour" or "bad humour"

Spot on. There may be different subjective meanings that can be applied by a reader but the only true meaning is the one chosen by the writer. Hang on a sec, let me check with a local linguistic expert to confirm that:

"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

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JDX
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Re: All very well...

I find it a bit weird a corporation is lobbying on local (in the international sense) politics. Do they really care, or are they doing it as a PR stunt?

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Re: All very well...

"You are not in a position to judge my life, humorless or not"

And you don't get to speak on behalf of All The Gays, like you just tried to pull up there, Mr Chairman.

"I'm not even sure how you managed to equate me with Islamic fundamentalists?"

You should re-read the comment then. It was pretty obvious.

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Stop

Re: All very well...

"You are not in a position to judge my life"

Then what puts you in a position to judge Nightfox as homophobic? I am sorry to hear that you've had trouble with homophobes, but the Reg is a fairly live and let live site and a little double entendre - not directed at anyone or badmouthing any group - is worlds away from homophobic abuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

I was pretty clear that I was talking about the majority of gay people that I know, not proportioning to speak for all, just what I see/hear as the majority opinion.

I was also suggesting by questing why you equate me with Islamic fundamentalists that I know full well that you're trying to get the rise out of my by equating my opinions with the "Anti-Gay bogeymonsters de-jour", which as I have several Muslim friends, I know is a ridiculous opinion held by some of the gay community.

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Anonymous Coward

Being gay...

...stops you working in Singapore? So BEING gay is illegal there, not just the sexual act between two men? Or you mean you couldn't have sex (legally) with another guy there?

Singapore is an oppressive dump anyway, who wants to work there let alone live there? Actually I know people do, for some reason. My best mate did - is still there. Complete mystery to me but there we go. I guess same reason some people seem to think Saudi Arabia is a nice place, LOL (defintely don't wanna be openly gay there.....) to each their own.

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Anonymous Coward

Butt out..

How apt :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

Stop whining. Be grateful you're not in an Islamic country...

You're offended because someone made a joke? Not even a particularly unpleasant joke. Grow up.

I say to each their own, but whether you like it or not, homosexuality is not the `norm` (biologically or socially) and never will be. By all means be gay, but don't moan because some people poke a little fun. People who are different from the majority will ALWAYS be in for a degree of flack at times, why should you be any different?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

@AC - It may not be the norm, in terms of %age of population, but it is normal.

And: Be grateful that you don't live somewhere that you may be imprisoned or executed for your sexuality, is hardly a consolation. People are still beaten up pretty regularly because they're gay, in the UK in 2012, it's not perfect, better than it was, but not perfect by a long shot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

"a whole lot nicer than being stoned to death as would happen in many Islamic countries"

'Many'? Really? Not in my experience of living in a few. I think you're getting out the 'all Islamic countries are ultra-conservative' brush there, and over-using it.

Rather than the walking death sentence you assume, many Islamic countries are very (quietly) tolerant -almost expectant - of a 'homosexual phase' in youngsters. It's a side-effect of not allowing them to socialise with the opposite gender as they reach sexual maturity.

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Mushroom

Re: All very well...

Welcome to the "free" in "free speech"...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

And people also get beaten up for being black, white, goth, rich, poor, short, tall, or 'looking at me a bit funny'. Some people are arseholes who like physically victimising people. Some people use 'humour' grossly inappropriately, as a tool for bullying and cruelty. We should not ban humour in order to crack down on those people, no more than we should ban cars to crack down on drunk drivers.

Humour isn't the problem: Arseholes are.

All humour essentially victimises someone. That's why it's funny.

It is grossly inappropriate to demand a 'ban' of humour on one subject and then laugh at a fat dude.

Laugh at everything in the right light and without malice, or laugh at nothing.

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Re: All very well...

And your telling us you've been attacked by people who make the same kind of jokes as our Chocolate Factory friend is all right? Are you really confused about the difference between the post and physical attacks?*)

And yes, even if you think that EVERYbody who posts these kinds of jokes is or will become gay assaulting frothing idiot... that's still your opinion and who are you to judge our Chocolatey friend or others like me, who disagree?

Can we stop now?

*) in other news: all**) dogs have four legs, not everything on four legs is a dog, etc.

**) yes, I know there are dogs with less legs, or presumably even more. Which just goes to show: live and let live.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

Homophobia? Who is scared, and of what exactly?

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Paris Hilton

I'm a MILF curious gay man

Please google, introduce MILF pride day, plus you could have some right fun with you custom homepage images....

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Re: All very well...

"what I see/hear as the majority opinion."

So this is like the Gay version of the Moral Majority?

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Facepalm

Re: All very well...

"You are not in a position to judge my life, humorless or not"

and yet you seem to be very ready to judge other commentards' motives. I understand that your past negative experiences will colour your judgement on the perceived intentions of whoever made the joke originally. Fair enough. But keep in mind that the original commentor didn't make the comment to you personally while you were walking down the street minding your own business. Context matters.

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Re: All very well...

I Disagree, it is funny, I laughed and I am a gay.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

A joke targeted at a group of people, be they a minority or not, results in laughing at them, rather than with them.

This is the difference between, for example, Frankie Boyle and a proper comedian, his "jokes" target people as the butt of the joke, you are being invited to laugh at the (usually) minority. The initial "joke" was along the lines of: Look at the gays they fuck each other up the arse, itsn't that funny?

It's hardy a joke, is it? It's pointing out the perceived differences between the majority and a minority and thinking it's ok to laugh at the minority because they're different.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who is scared..

homo-

comb. form meaning "same, the same, equal, like,"

So I'm assuming homophobia is a fear of equality :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

"A joke targeted at a group of people, be they a minority or not, results in laughing at them, rather than with them."

And that is what every joke does*. Except those that target *specific* people, which are arguably worse. Jokes are about mocking people in some manner. All of them; from Mr. Bean, to 'Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman' through to political satire. Even 'my mother-in-law' jokes aren't about 'a' mother-in-law: They are about tarring every mother-in-law with the same brush. Which is clearly evil and wrong in your world.

Or are mother-in-laws ok to abuse and mock, but gay people aren't? Both are human beings, and neither group is in any way 'better' and more/less deserving than the other.

Don't get on your high horse, just because Mr. Boyle is a lot less deceptive and subtle about it than others. If you laugh at jokes, you are laugh AT people.

If you have a problem with a non-targeted, non-specific gag (which was pretty much an on-topic pun/word-play) about homosexuality then you either have a problem with every comedian and 99% of funny things in the world, or you are an enormous hypocrite.

Malice is what separates a joke from persecution.

*Ok: Maybe not puns. But they aren't very funny.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

Not to mention whether a foreign company has any business getting involved in a political campaign. While most of us might agree with this one Google have no business getting involved in the social politics of a foreign country. Suppose our companies starting campaigning in the US for national healthcare? I bet the Americans would not be happy with that - same thing applies here. No matter how sane and sensible cause foreign companies should stay out of local politics.

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Re: All very well...

Google is a multinational. How is it "foreign" when the affected employees live and work in those countries?

(Yes there are some more general worries about large companies lobbying in politics, but I'm not sure this is the topic to be criticising - there are plenty of examples where this does go wrong. And I don't think it's an issue of being "foreign", because they are not.)

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Re: All very well...

"They risk making things worse for LGBT people in places where being any of them can lead to your state sanctioned death."

How is campaigning for better rights making things worse for LGBT people? And as to making things better, it is a very comforting thing sometimes if you are of a sexual minority in a hostile country to see that others out there are like you and maybe trying to make the world a friendlier place for you.

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Re: All very well...

"let's not get distracted."

Ah, the old fallacy. You can pretty much 'end' any vaguely well-intentioned (or not) thread of any kind by saying 'but there are PEOPLE DYING! let's not get distracted!'

Because, well, there always are.

A bad thing is a bad thing even when other bad things are happening. Unless you spend your _entire waking life_ doing nothing but worry about starving African children or whatever your chosen really bad cause is, pointing at anyone trying to do something about _any_ bad thing and saying 'stop doing that and focus on this other bad thing that I care about instead' is a) mean-spirited and b) downright hypocritical.

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Re: All very well...

They're marketing themselves by wading into a hugely controversial debate, on the side which is probably the minority in most of the countries concerned?

They'll be wanting to fire the marketing department, then.

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Re: All very well...

"And that is what every joke does*. Except those that target *specific* people, which are arguably worse. Jokes are about mocking people in some manner."

That's really just not true at all. There are vast numbers of jokes that aren't about mocking anyone. You're going way too far.

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Mushroom

@ the politically correct gay AC

How dare you tell me or anyone else what I'm allowed to like or not! IF I wanted to not like homosexuals, that would be my goddamn right, and not you nor anyone else has any right to tell me how I'm allowed to feel about it.

Now, that said, I personally don't give two shits about where you stick your prick, as long as it isn't into me, little kids, or anyone else who doesn't want it, and I don't have any problems with someone being gay, straight, asexual or whatever suits you. Knock yourself out.

But I DO have a very big fucking problem with politically correct do-gooders telling me what I'm allowed to think or how I'm allowed to feel, or even what I'm allowed to say in conversation. And I'm fucking sick of it.

Look, if some arse insults you for being gay, either ignore them or insult them back for being a self-righteous dick. Give back as good as you get. But if someone physically attacks you for it, either fight back or run, then call the police, as you would in any physical attack situation. Most people sooner or later run into some form of violence - be it a mugging, a bar fight, a road-rage attack, whatever - and there are laws and procedures to deal with such events.

But if someone doesn't feel comfortable with homosexuality or whatever, perhaps even to the point of needing to cope with that discomfort by making homophobic jokes - as long as they don't attack you personally - that's their fucking RIGHT of free speech and their RIGHT of freedom of thought to feel that way.

See, I have no problem with you defending yourself in a confrontation with an anti-gay idiot, just as I have no problem with you or anyone else being gay. But stop trying to force me and other people to love you for it. All you achieve with that is to make loads of people despise you for being a censorious, humourless, dictatorial arsehole, and that just makes it worse for other gays who simply want get on with their lives and don't feel the need to preach to everyone about it, or tell them what they're allowed to think and feel in regard to it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: All very well...

"That's really just not true at all. There are vast numbers of jokes that aren't about mocking anyone. You're going way too far."

Yes it is. Trust me; I'm a comedian.

Think about the jokes you hear from day to day, and the things that you laugh at. They are almost all at someone else's expense. The vast majority of humour targets an individual or a group. Sometimes you laugh at your mate tripping over, sometimes your mates laugh at you. You laugh at people in jokes who have a 'bad thing' happen to them because of stupidity, a mistake, or failure to communicate. Hearing about other people f*** up, or mocking them is funny, and the cornerstone of humour. Even sarcasm -at its core- mocks the listener.

Try it as an exercise. Write down the last 20 things that made you laugh and really think about what you actually were laughing about. Or if your memory is as shite as mine (that's self-depreciating humour there: It still mocks someone...), write them down as they happen.

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Re: @ the politically correct gay AC - @Steven Roper

Thank, you, Steven, for saying what I was going to. A world where people think they control your likes and dislikes is not free, regardless of the reason they think they are doing it.

No-one has the right to not be offended - not now, not ever.

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Re: All very well...

I didn't cite examples in my original post because I thought it was hardly necessary, but okay, let's just take what I usually think of as the funniest thing I've ever heard - Goodness Gracious Me's parody of Brief Encounter at an Indian railway station. The whole scene is hilarious, but particularly the exchange between a beggar and the hero:

Beggar: Alms for the poor! Alms for the poor! I am blind and have no limbs!

Hero: Of course you do, you're walking and carrying a stick.

Beggar: Well I didn't know, I'm blind, aren't I?

Who exactly is that mocking?

I could go on, if you like. I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is one of the funniest things ever and very little of the humor in it usually mocks people - who is Mornington Crescent mocking? One Song To The Tune Of Another?

Honestly, most of the things I find funniest aren't mocking anyone at all.

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