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Microsoft Halts Political Contributions After Being Exposed For Giving To Anti-LGBT Politicians

Two weeks ago we reported to you about the  Zero for Zeros campaign which is exposing and taking on the hypocrisy of businesses who say they are pro-LGBT but who donate money to anti-gay Republican lawmakers .

Microsoft, one of the business’ which was named by the group for donating money to Republican Ted Cruz among others have no announced that they will stop all political donations while they reorganize and align their Political Action Committees:

Microsoft’s CVP, US Government Affairs, Fred Humphries Jr. shared the following memo to internal employees:

We have heard from many employees that greater transparency is needed when it comes to MSPAC policies, giving criteria, and how decisions are made in terms of the candidates we support. Our operations are realigning to reflect that feedback.

First, we are creating new advisory councils based on Employee Resource Groups and geographies to increase dialogue and transparency. These groups will play a role similar to the PAC’s Advisory Council, which provides feedback to the Operating Committee on their approach to contributions. We will announce the formation of the groups later this summer.

Second, while we take some time to align operations, I’ve implemented a brief hiatus for political contributions that began July 1 and will be in effect until the fall. Employees should anticipate one additional disclosure that will show the following contributions through the end of June. This giving reflects contributions to a bipartisan group of lawmakers on their work with us on a range of company priorities, including immigration and equality [!!], and policies to promote privacy, climate [!], trade and the Cloud.

Third, moving forward, you can look forward to more communication from CELA, and from me personally, abnout the MSPAC’s political giving. As a reminder, employees can engage on Yammer and advertised in-person meetings around campus to learn more about the MSPAC. Additionally, the MSPAC website provides regular updates on events and related activities.

Zero for Zeros campaign manager Blaine Hudson said in a statement to Washington Blade of Microsoft’s decision. “We discussed their concerns, they heard ours and their employees weighed in,” he said. “We are thrilled that they have responded to our campaign.”

Hudson added, “Their plan looks strong and may ultimately be a model for how other companies can ensure that politicians that undermine the values of a company and its employees do not receive the support of their corporate PACs.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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