In a matter of hours, Microsoft decided on Thursday to remove its online store from the “Christian Values Network” after more than 500 people signed Stuart Wilber’s Change.org petition asking the software company to stop allowing the funding of anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family and “hate groups” identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, including the Family Research Council.
“Microsoft's swift reaction to my Change.org petition demonstrates their strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” said Wilber, a Microsoft customer and resident of Seattle. “Microsoft has a long tradition of being supportive of our community. I assumed they would be just as upset as I was that their brand was being used by anti-gay hate groups to raise money. I’m glad I was right.”
Microsoft is a leader in the corporate world for their internal and external policies to both protect their LGBT employees, and to advocate for better laws to protect all LGBT people under the law. Recently, Microsoft publicly endorsed the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a law that would allow gays and lesbians to sponsor their loved ones for American citizenship, just like married heterosexual couples. During Washington's Referendum 71 campaign, Microsoft contributed $100,000 to help protect the right of lesbian and gay families to a domestic partnership.
Hopefully, the more than 600 companies who are still being used by the Christian Values Network to raise money for known hate groups will follow Microsoft's lead and quickly insist their store is removed from the Christian Values Network.