Business Technology

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Tech giants say 'Yes' to same-sex marriage here

Microsoft's Brad Smith
Microsoft's Brad Smith
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Some of Ireland's biggest tech employers are urging support for a change in same-sex marriage laws.

While Twitter's Irish office has tweeted photos supporting a Yes vote in Ireland's upcoming referendum, Microsoft's most senior legal officer says that the company is to become an "advocate" for same-sex marriage legislation.

Brad Smith said that the software giant, which employs 1,200 workers here, is in favour of same-sex marriage legislation because it "makes good sense for business".

The comments will be seen as a strong endorsement for the 'Yes' side in Ireland's upcoming referendum on the issue.

"Marriage equality as a legal right makes good sense for business and for people," said Mr Smith.

"That's why we've advocated for marriage equality in places where we have facilities and employees. And it is why we'll continue to support marriage equality when this issue arises in communities around the world."

Microsoft already confers the same spousal benefits for both heterosexual and same-sex partners of its Irish employees. Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently revealed that he was "proud" to be gay and is a supporter of marriage equality.

"Laws around the world that define marriage differently can impact the day-to-day lives of our employees," said Mr Smith. "We ask them to move to other states based on our business needs. For our LGBT employees and their families, there can be significant challenges in states or countries that don't provide equal recognition for their marriage or committed relationships."

Mr Smith also said that countries that recognise same-sex marriages have a competitive edge in retaining skilled workers.

"We believe countries that provide immigration benefits to same-sex permanent partners - such as Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia - place themselves at a competitive advantage for securing top talent and benefiting from the contributions of a diverse workforce."

Irish Independent

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