I can't remember another occasion when Google formally voices its position on political or social matters. (may be I am wrong, may be they did so in past but I cannot remember, well, except for the launch of a new, self-censored search engine in China; in any case, it is something very rare, indeed). My respects to Google and its co-founder Sergey Brin for their stance.
So called Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot in California by conservative and religious fundamentalists after the California Supreme Court invalidated the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage in May. In previous days, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and other California A-listers made financial donations to fight proposed gay marriage ban.
Below is Google's statement in full posted by its co-founder Sergey Brin on The Official Google Blog.
Our position on California's No on 8 campaign
9/26/2008 03:23:00 pm
As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions -- Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay -- we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8 appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.
However, while there are many objections to this proposition - further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text - it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 - we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.
Posted by Sergey Brin, Co-founder & President, Technology