Several weeks ago, the Seattle newspaper The Stranger reported that Microsoft had backed off from supporting a state antidiscrimination bill that supports Gay and Lesbian rights, seemingly after the company was contacted by a conservative local pastor. Weeks of controversy ensued, with many Gay and Lesbian rights groups attacking Microsoft for the new stance. Now, Microsoft has released a statement saying that it will return to a position of support for the legislation of Gay and Lesbian rights.
"After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda," Ballmer wrote in the e-mail. "I respect that there will be different viewpoints. But as CEO, I am doing what I believe is right for our company as a whole."
Seemingly, it was Rev. Ken Hutcherson of the Antioch Bible Church's threat to see that Microsoft's products were boycotted that prompted the original withdrawal of support by Microsoft. But with this stance now fully reversed, the company has reinstated itself as an institution that is forward looking.