Many of Silicon Valley’s major technology companies supported same-sex marriage in briefs filed with the Supreme Court, but Mark Zuckerberg is the only CEO to publicly make an unprompted personal declaration of support for today’s rulings.
“I’m proud that our country is moving in the right direction, and I’m happy for so many of my friends and their families. #PrideConnectsUs,” he posted on the social network he started.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, was on stage at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., when the rulings were handed down.
Inconsistent state and federal policies made doing business more difficult, he noted. He added, “we’ve been very supportive as a company with our own employees of these progressive policies in the state of California, etcetera.”
Many tech companies have employees who are in same-sex relationships. Most of those live in states that support gay marriage or domestic partnerships, and in cities where queer relationships are accepted. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is himself gay and partnered.
Here is the kind of situation to which Costolo alluded: The domestic partners of San Francisco-area tech employees who were covered by their partners’ health insurance plans had to file as unmarried in their federal tax returns, thanks to DOMA. They thus had to declare the insurance coverage as income. A gay employee in a relationship would therefore make less even with exactly the same compensation package as a heterosexual employee, unless the company stepped in and subsidized the difference.
A celebratory post also appeared on Tumblr’s blog. It included links to blogs on lesbian literature, queer pride and activism. And, of course, an animated GIF.