National Organization for Marriage seems to be all Starbucks     all the time. Since last Wednesday, their blog has included no fewer than 18 articles about their Starbucks campaign. It has become an obsession. Indeed, it is comical to watch these religious zealots who actually think that they can reshape the pro-equality policies of a private company.

Starbucks is not the only company headquartered in Washington that champions equality and diversity. Others include Microsoft, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan. Microsoft has sales of $70 billion per year. Starbucks is “only” a fifth that size.

Is NOM afraid of Microsoft or do they simply not want to have to abandon a company that they depend upon? While I haven’t a single piece of MS software on my computers (I am all Linux), that’s not for everyone. If NOM is really serious, shouldn’t their donors demand that they apply their pressure consistently?

On January 19, Microsoft issued a press release signed by General Counsel and Executive VP Brad Smith. It reads in part:

Marriage Equality in Washington State Would Be Good for Business

Today, Microsoft is joining other Northwest employers Concur, Group
Health, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc. in support of Washington
State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. We
believe that passing this bill would be good for our business and good
for the state’s economy. I wanted to take a few moments to explain why.

At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our
brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our
greatest asset.

To be successful, it’s critical that we have a workforce that is as
diverse as our customers. Every day, the national and global economies
are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to
understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more
than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce.

While some of our employees literally grew up around the corner,
others have come from every state and almost 150 countries around the
world. They reflect virtually every background in the country and on the
planet. They bring their creativity to work, and they put it to good
use in developing new products and serving our customers. There simply
is no substitute for their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, skills and

Inclusiveness is therefore a fundamental part of our values, and is integral to the company’s business success.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.