An Open Petition to the San Francisco Pride Board of Directors
To: Jacquelene Bishop, President
and her fellow members
Board of Directors
San Francisco Pride
1841 Market Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103–1112
CC: Lisa Williams, sponsorship sales
Ms. Bishop, et al.,
We, the undersigned, employees of Google (and related companies YouTube and Alphabet), urge you to revoke Google’s sponsorship of Pride 2019, and exclude Google from representation in the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 30th, 2019.
We do not make this request without serious consideration of the alternatives. We have spent countless hours advocating for our company to improve policies and practices regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons, the depiction of LGBTQ+ persons, and harassment and hate speech directed at LGBTQ+ persons, on YouTube and other Google products. Whenever we press for change, we are told only that the company will “take a hard look at these policies.” But we are never given a commitment to improve, and when we ask when these improvements will be made, we are always told to be patient.
We are told to wait. For a large company, perhaps waiting is prudent, but for those whose very right to exist is threatened, we say there is no time to waste, and we have waited too long, already. We are no longer content to wait.
We receive apologies that we may be upset about the policies and practices to which we object, even as we are told that leadership stands by those policies. We are told to wait quietly, while executives state this position in interviews with the press¹.
Even as this discussion was ongoing, we watched and waited as others petitioned you to take the very action we now ask for². When some of our fellow employees expressed concern that they might not be able to march in the parade if such a petition were to succeed, we opened a genuine dialogue, and ultimately together proposed a compromise: to protest from within the contingent, allowing employees to express their disagreement with the company’s position, from the parade. But Google has now informed us that this is a violation of our communications policy, a part of the company code of conduct³. They claim the contingent is their official representation, and we may not use their platform to express an opinion that is not their opinion. In short, they rejected any compromise.
We have considered the possibility that our employer will punish us for signing this letter, or that supporters of these very hatemongers will attack us personally, online or otherwise, simply for speaking out against them. Despite these risks, we are compelled to speak.
We feel we have no choice but to urge you to reject Google’s failure to act in support of our community by revoking their sponsorship of Pride, and excluding Google from official representation in the Pride parade. If another official platform, YouTube, allows abuse and hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons, then Pride must not provide the company a platform that paints it in a rainbow veneer of support for those very persons. On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, in a Pride celebration whose very slogan is “Generations of Resistance”, we ask you to join us in resisting LGBTQ+ oppression on the internet, and the subjugation of our right to equality in favor of calculated business concerns. The first Pride was a protest, and so now must this Pride be one.
We know this request comes just a short time before the Pride celebration. But we are tired of waiting, and we hope you are, as well. We ask that, even if you will not consider excluding Google so soon before Pride, that you will issue a determination, absent a real change in these policies and practices, and a strong position statement to that effect, that Google will not be permitted to sponsor or be officially represented in future San Francisco Pride celebrations.
We thank you for your consideration, and your time.
The below Google employees:
Benjamin S Wolf
Demma Rosa Rodriguez
Devon H. O’Dell
Jerrald Kelty Jr.
Michael Ryan Walker
Owain G. Ainsworth
Ricard Sole Casas
Xiao Yu Zhu
We will update with additional signatures if more Googlers choose to sign after this open letter is published
(last signature update: 201906290425 count: 145)
Find us on Twitter: @NoPrideForGoog
 https://www.cnet.com/news/youtube-ceo-apologizes-to-lgbt-community-for-hurtful-decision/ https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/6/11/18660779/youtube-ceo-susan-wojcicki-code-conference-peter-kafka-interview-transcript-maza-crowder-lgbtq