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Google’s LGBT employees have requested that the San Franciso Pride board revoke Google’s sponsorship of Pride 2019 and exclude them for representation.
“We have spent countless hours advocating for our company to improve policies and practices regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons, the depiction of LGBTQ+ persons, and harassment and hate speech directed at LGBTQ+ persons, on YouTube and other Google products,” The letter reads, “Whenever we press for change, we are told only that the company will “take a hard look at these policies. But we are never given a commitment to improve, and when we ask when these improvements will be made, we are always told to be patient.”
It certainly seems hypocritical for Google to be represented at Pride while ignoring the LGBT issues in its company and the ones that its platforms facilitate. For its part, the Pride Board has already considered excluding Google due to its lax enforcement of discrimination policies on large channels but decided to continue to monitor the situation. Whether this open letter moves the needle on either side is yet to be seen.
The letter concludes thus:
We know this request comes just a short time before the Pride celebration. But we are tired of waiting, and we hope you are, as well. We ask that, even if you will not consider excluding Google so soon before Pride, that you will issue a determination, absent a real change in these policies and practices, and a strong position statement to that effect, that Google will not be permitted to sponsor or be officially represented in future San Francisco Pride celebrations.