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Microsoft makes 'business case' for marriage equality

It's about equality and the bottom line

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith has put forward a business case for marriage equality.

The “Microsoft on the issues” blog spends most of its time on topics like privacy and education, so tackling marriage equality is a bit of a departure.

Smith starts by saying marriage equality is important to Microsoft because it tries to treat all employees equally.

“Laws across the U.S. and around the world that define marriage differently can impact the day-to-day lives of our employees, and they make it harder to treat every employee and their family equally,” he writes.

Microsoft feels the impact most keenly when it tries to move its people around the world.

“For our [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities] LGBT employees and their families, there can be significant challenges in states or countries that don’t provide equal recognition for their marriage or committed relationships,” Smith writes.

Nations that recognise same-sex marriages or diverse forms of committed relationships among the LGBT communities, Smith said, have a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting skilled workers.

“We believe the business arguments for inclusiveness and for marriage equality are clear and compelling on their own,” Smith says. “Of course, the business case is only one part of the argument. Diversity, inclusiveness and equal treatment are also fundamental values more broadly, and this too underpins our commitment to support our LGBT employees.”

Smith ends by saying Microsoft will continue to advocate for marriage equality, as it has done in its home state of Washington, whenever the issue comes up around the world. ®

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