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Jacques Brinon/AP
Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Apple Joins Fight Against Proposition 8

October 28, 2008 07:28 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The California-based company has pledged $100,000 to defeat the state proposition against same-sex marriage, becoming the latest company to court political controversy.

Apple Opposes Proposition 8

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Following in the footsteps of a few other publicly traded companies, Apple has joined the fight against Proposition 8. The company has pledged $100,000 to help those working to defeat the measure, the Associated Press reports.

On its Web site, Apple announced its decision to fight against the proposition and explained that the company views this as a “civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue” and thus felt it was appropriate to voice an opinion. Apple’s company policy is to offer equal benefits for same-sex partners.

The Ground Report notes that while only a few companies have donated money to fight against Proposition 8, a tremendous amount of money is being funneled into the campaign to pass the ban.

Background: Other companies come out against Proposition 8

Google founders say while they do consider Proposition 8 a political issue, it’s one that that will affect many of their employees. Although the company tries to remain politically neutral, it has openly opposed the proposition.

Levi Strauss & Co. has also teamed up with Pacific Gas & Electric to fight against Proposition 8. PG&E donated $250,000 to the campaign, and is encouraging other companies to speak out.

Historical Context: Companies taking political stances

Companies who choose to come out in favor of controversial political movements run the risk of losing customers to organized boycotts. In past years, pro-life and pro-family groups have avoided patronizing such varied businesses as Pampers and Target. In November 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported that the American Girl doll company was under fire after giving money to an organization that supports abortion rights.

In 1993, Snapple fended off rumors that it was supporting an anti-abortion group. The company risked a devastating boycott from liberal groups at a time when it was struggling to build its brand and sales. The New York Times reported that Snapple worked obsessively to eliminate the rumors, which would have destroyed the company’s reputation in some of its most popular markets: college campuses and the Bay Area.

The Coors Brewing Company did more than dispel rumors—it implemented more liberal policies within the company to quell anger over its bad reputation with unions and minorities. In 1998, Time magazine noted the changes that had come over the company and identified a trend called “corporate leftism: business are adopting policies considered wildly liberal in the political arena.”

Even though Coors made efforts to improve its image, it continued donating to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, and continued supporting right-wing causes. It’s not the only company willing to stick to its fundamental beliefs. The owner of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain insists that none of his restaurants are open on Sundays in observation of the Sabbath. Although as much as 20 percent of restaurant profits are typically earned on Sundays, that bears no influence on owner Truitt Cathy’s decision to close his stores.

Reference: No On 8

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