Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Nov 2013 17:14 UTC

Tim Cook, in a letter published in The Wall Street Journal:

Apple's antidiscrimination policy goes beyond the legal protections U.S. workers currently enjoy under federal law, most notably because we prohibit discrimination against Apple's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. A bill now before the U.S. Senate would update those employment laws, at long last, to protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We urge senators to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and we challenge the House of Representatives to bring it to the floor for a vote.

It's hard to imagine for someone like me, from The Netherlands, but in the US, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have, in most states, far fewer rights than straight, non-transgender people. The LGBT community in the US still has a long fight ahead of itself, and large companies like Apple publicly urging Congress to address the archaic position of the LGBT community can only be seen as a good thing.

Most technology companies support the LGBT community's fight for equality, and considering the importance of this industry, that's a blessing.

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Member since:

The free market does not implicitly assume anything. A free market is just people offering to pay you a sum of money for your services. There is no moral judgement in the process. the reasons WHY people are willing to pay you money or whether they want you to work for them at all is irrelevant. The free market makes NO assumptions on people's motives.

The point is, however, that there are, as we know, many business that ARE willing to hire gay people. If XYZ bad company doesn't want to employ you, you have options. That is the essence of the free market.

Like I've said before, unemployment is lower among the openly gay and wages are higher too. Clearly gay people are being hired by somebody.

The free market has worked. Are there employers who discriminate? Indeed there are, and YOU SHOULD NOT WANT TO WORK FOR THEM. Let them make their mistakes, don't give them your labor. Work for someone who likes you. Would employers still discriminate under the proposed law? YES. It won't change people's motives.

Reply Parent Score: -1

Alfman Member since:


"Like I've said before, unemployment is lower among the openly gay and wages are higher too."

BTW it would have been good to provide a verifiable link for this.

"The free market does not implicitly assume anything."

The definition does not assume anything, it's just laissez fair. However those who trumpet the free market as a solution to social and/or economic issues (as you have) are indeed making implicit assumptions. The free market cannot solve these problems because it gives those already in power a highly unfair advantage over those struggling below.

It's like having a race where the "best" runners are given a mile advantage. Those starting behind might never come out ahead even if they are better than the winners. A significantly unfair advantage would even allow the winners to become complacent and unfit and then still win anyways. At least with sports we do attempt to be as fair as possible so that the best athletes do win (doping scandal's aside). But the "free market" by definition precludes such rules, which in turn makes unfair advantages highly exploitable.

Gullible Jones was right, the free market has it's place, but we already know exactly where it ends up when left entirely to it's own vices. We end up with monopolies that own absolutely everything, giving consumers no choices, and no viability for competitors. This is exactly why we've instituted antitrust and broken up corporations that owned entire markets. That was not because the government hates corporate freedom (believe it or not it's actually very pro-corporate), but because the free market failed to become competitive on it's own.

The point is that the free market is not the magic bullet for all problems. It's not going to solve discrimination in the future if it hasn't done so already.

It really sounds like your OK having employer discrimination assuming other employers exist who don't discriminate, is that a fair assessment of your opinion? Condoning wrongness on the basis that someone else isn't doing wrong... don't you think that's a slippery slope?

Reply Parent Score: 4

DrJohnnyFever Member since:

The free market rewards those who make good choices and punishes those who will make a bad choice based on irrational prejudices. This is just how it works. There is no assumption, it is what it is.

The burden of proof is on you. The government is elected by the class of idiots you seem to think can't run their own lives. How can you assume the moves of the government are correct? How can you assume a law or regulation that on its face appears to be positive but certainly has unanticipated and potentially harmful effects?

The government amplifies mistakes. This is a a necessary consequence of centralized power. Its not just me saying this. It is the reason why nearly everyone agrees we need to have a limited government in one way or another. We obviously wouldn't support a government that tells us how to live our lives in every conceivable detail even if it were right most of the time.

You know how to use Google. Look up the statistics on gay employment. You're capable of checking things if you find it so hard to believe. These aren't secrets, they are widely published facts. Find a source you trust and read the details.

People criticize the free market as being incapable of doing all sorts of things. Nobody can point to an example of a free market failing as the government has its hands so deep into everything you can't tell what causes what. All we can go on is logic. I still don't understand how we can argue about gay employment being in such a crisis when there are clearly gay friendly companies to work for (such as Apple, the topic of the article here) and nobody can tell me why they would want to work for an anti-gay company!

Let the market work! Stay away from anti-gay employers! If you're gay, let those companies suffer the loss of your labor!

Its so rational I don't see the issue. I also want to point out I'm not the one here posting about "disapproving of homosexual behavior in the workplace" and other nonsense. I'm neutral on sexuality completely. I have many gay friends who 100% agree with me on these issues. There is no monopoly of opinion in the gay community. At gay pride in Minneapolis, the Libertarians and anarcho-capitalist leaning groups were quite popular.

Anyway. Someone explain to me why A) they want to work for an anti-gay employer and B) how it will be helpful for them to support anti-gay employers by giving them their labor when the anti-gay employer could suffer by losing that labor and C) whether all that is worth the possibility of a company not hiring an openly gay person not because they are anti-gay but are in fear of lawsuits under this law if the gay employee ever gets fired for an unrelated reason. aka the chilling effect.

Reply Parent Score: 0