Google: Legalize Love

A new campaign supports LGBT workers around the world

This weekend, the talk about Google was whether the tech giant would be making a public push for same-sex marriage. But while the company has certainly been supportive of LGBT rights (in 2008, Google’s co-founder spoke out against Prop 8 in California and announced it would cover tax on domestic partner benefits that straight couples do not pay), today’s news comes in the form of Legalize Love, a campaign that seeks to support workers in 60 offices around the world – particularly in countries that criminalize homosexuality.

Launching today in London, the campaign promotes safer conditions for LGBT people living where anti-gay laws are on the books. Both Ernst & Young and Citigroup have already signed on as partners.

“Though our business and employees are located in offices around the world, our policies on non-discrimination are universal throughout Google,” says Google in a statement. “We are proud to be recognized as a leader in LGBT inclusion efforts, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality. Legalize Love is our call to decriminalise homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.”

Google has been addressing LGBT rights in countries like Singapore and Poland where LGBT rights are criminalized or nonexistent, respectively. In the company’s Warsaw office, for example, Google hosted LGBT activist Kystian Legierski for an office-wide talk and discussion on the importance of civil partnership laws. And at Google London, a gathering of LGBT activists from more than 40 countries will come together on behalf of the Kaleidoscope Trust.

Google also sponsored Stonewall’s latest Workplace Guide – Global Working: Supporting LGB Staff Overseas – exploring how organizations can use their global influence to promote better environments for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff around the world.

“At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work,” the statement continues. “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.”