The Internet has been buzzing this weekend over a reported announcement by Google that it is launching a worldwide push to legalize same-sex marriage. However, the tech giant says its new “Legalize Love” campaign isn’t about gay marriage at all, but rather supporting workers in countries that criminalize homosexuality.
"'Legalize Love' is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books," said a Google spokesperson in a statement.
The internationally focused campaign will launch Monday at an LGBT conference in London. Ernst & Young and Citigroup have signed on as partners, the spokesperson said.
CNN reports that Legalize Love “will focus on countries such as Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples.”
The confusion over the focus of the campaign appears to have started with a post at Dot429.com, which reported that Google hoped to inspire “countries to legalize marriage for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people around the world.”
Google has a history of supporting gay rights. In 2008, the company’s co-founder and president Sergey Brin came out in opposition to the California Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage via a post on the company’s blog. In 2010, the company began providing additional compensation to gay and lesbian employees to cover the cost of a tax on domestic-partner health benefits that heterosexual married couples do not pay.
UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: Google has released more information about the “Legalize Love” campaign.
Though our business and employees are located in offices around the world, our policies on non-discrimination are universal throughout Google. We are proud to be recognised as a leader in LGBT inclusion efforts, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality. Legalise Love is our call to decriminalise homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.
At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our 60 offices around the world, we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive. We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, as they do at work, and for LGBT communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are.
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