No On California Proposition 8

As regular readers know, our blog is usually about the (often boring) technical details of Web hosting service. This post is different. We want to publicly state that our company is opposed to Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that would take away marriage rights for some Californians.

Part of the reason is pure self-interest. As a California company, we want to encourage a diverse, vibrant workforce. Discrimination against some of our employees and potential employees hinders that. Major California companies including Apple Computer, AT&T, the California State Automobile Association, Comcast, Gap Inc., Google, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Levi Strauss, Southern California Edison, Time Warner Cable, and Wells Fargo — not to mention pro-business governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — agree.

Another reason, though, is that we see this as a basic civil rights issue, similar to the fight against interracial marriage bans in the 1960s. “Separate but equal” has never been equal.

One of the founding ideals of American freedom is that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”, and that among these rights are “the pursuit of happiness”. We can’t imagine any better example of the pursuit of happiness than marrying the person you love.

Nor do we think that Proposition 8 would strengthen the traditional institution of marriage. Preventing two people from entering into society’s strongest traditional commitment can only weaken what marriage really means. As an example of why this is important, we think it’s beneficial for children to grow up with married parents, so taking that right away from same-sex parents who raise a child makes no sense.

Some will understandably think we should keep our political opinions to ourselves, and we’d normally agree. However, the authors of Proposition 8 claim that judges have acted contrary to the will of Californians, implying that if people supported same-sex marriage rights, more citizens and businesses would stand up and say so. We’re saying so. When polite silence is trumpeted as political assent, public statements are the only antidote.