Because I’m on a family vacation now celebrating my Mom’s 75th birthday with my siblings and niblings, I haven’t had nearly as much time as I would like to check the news, the blogs or even the comments to our posts.
When I first received the same e-mail Bruce received from our reader Peter Hughes about the pay adjustments Google is offering to gay and lesbian employees with domestic partners, I thought it was yet another piece of gay PC silliness. Yet, the more I thought about it, the less averse I became to the policy.
First, there does seem to be a certain inclination (among some segments of our culture, particularly in the part of the country where Google is headquartered) to bend over backwards to appease gay activists. And I thought that was what was going on here. And maybe it is.
I’m still not certain it’s a good idea, but then I’ve only had time to read snippets of Google’s justification for the policy. That said, one thing I do know is that this is a private remedy to a (perceived) public problem. It may seem PC on the surface, but, at least, we don’t see the heavy hand of government mandating this act.
This is a private organization working independently of government to address a (what it sees as) imbalance in social benefits. This may not be the solution we would have offered, but no one is coercing Google to make this concession.
In some ways, I see how this could a smart policy, a very smart one indeed. There are many talented gay people in the technology industry and many with a more creative vision of further integrating that technology into our daily lives. By offering this policy, Google makes itself a more attractive professional opportunity to such folk. Indeed, it may well give them a competitive advantage as more and more search engines are coming online.
And those of who believe we must turn to the private sector to help promote the social changes we feel are necessary to make it easier for us to live openly as gay people in civil society should welcome such “experiments.”
And if people don’t like ’em, well, there are other search engines they can use.