Biz Carson/Business Insider
- The San Francisco Pride Board of Directors will allow Google employees who wish to protest the company’s LGBTQ+ policies to march as part of an official presence at Sunday’s parade.
- Google employees had called on the board to ban Google’s official contingent to the Pride parade, but that request was denied.
- Earlier this week, employees learned that protesting against the company’s LGBTQ+ policies while a part of its official parade contingent would be considered a violation of Google’s communications policy.
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Googlers who want to protest their employer’s LGBTQ+ policies at this weekend’s San Francisco Pride Parade will now have the opportunity to do so.
According to a Medium post on Friday from the group "Ban Google From Pride," the SF Pride Board of Directors will allow Google employees to march in the parade in an official capacity as guests of an existing group, known as the "Resistance Contingent."
"We are disappointed that San Francisco Pride will not be revoking Google’s sponsorship, nor removing the company’s official contingent from the parade," the Google employees wrote. "However, we also appreciate the board’s willingness to offer us an opportunity to further advocate for the protections we consider so essential."
A "Ban Google From Pride" organizer told Business Insider on Friday that they expect around 20 employees and activists to march together at Sunday’s event. The group will be on foot, not on a float, "due to the last minute nature of the invitation," the organizer said.
Google employees had called on the board to ban Google’s official contingent, but that request was denied, according to the post. Over 140 Google employees had signed the petition in support of such a ban.
Earlier this week, employees learned that protesting against the company’s LGBTQ+ policies while a part of its official parade contingent would be considered a violation of Google’s communications policy. When asked which part of the company’s policy employees it would violate, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider: "Because you’re representing the company, you can’t be protesting the company at the same time."
The spokesperson said employees were free to protest however they like as long as they are part of a contingent other than Google’s or if they show up in their own "personal capacity." Friday’s news gives Googlers who wish to protest against their employer an official place in the parade to do so.
Frustration with the company’s LGBTQ+ policy erupted earlier this month when the company decided that homophobic and racial slurs about a Vox journalist in a video posted by conservative commentator Steven Crowder did not violate YouTube’s terms of service. YouTube eventually suspended Crowder’s ability to make money from his videos, but decided that the videos could remain on the site.
Google has scrambled to contain the fallout following the controversial Crowder video incident, with CEO Sundar Pichai stating in an email to LGBTQ employees that YouTube’s management was "taking a hard look" at harassment policies.
- Almost 100 Google employees are petitioning San Francisco Pride to ban Google from sponsoring and participating in the parade — read the full letter here
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