This weekend (30th June), San Franciscans will be taking to the streets for their annual Pride March, which will also be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests.
We write about it as Google has once agin come into the spotlight when it comes to the way it treats its LGBTQ+ employees, with a leaked internal memo noting that anyone who marches with the company on the day, and decides to voice any form of protest, will be in violation of its code of conduct.
Today, @Google told employees that while marching in the Google contingent in the @SFPride parade any protest against @YouTube's current policies,interpretation of policies,and so forth would be considered a violation of Googles Communications policy #NoPrideInYT @EthicalGooglers
— Rebecca (@Tri_Becca90) June 24, 2019
It’s a particularly worrying development considering Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, recently shared a letter expressing his (and the company’s) desire to do more for its LGBTQ+ employees, while also acknowledging that they’ve done a poor job up until now.
This latest memo seems to be something that the pre-Pichai letter Google would have done. It also lessens the impact of the CEO’s words, which now appears to be more of a placation as Pride Month kicked off.
As for why Google decided to release such a memo, the company is yet to officially comment on the situation, but The Verge reports that it is linked to the San Francisco Pride March, and in particular the desire of some employees to have the firm’s float removed from the event.
Another Google employee reached out to the publication, sharing screenshots of responses that an inclusion lead at the company made when pressed about protesting during the event.
“Employees are free to make whatever statement they want personally, apart from our corporate sponsored float/contingent,” the unnamed inclusion lead reportedly said. “But they are not permitted to leverage our platform to express a message contradictory to the one Google is expressing,” they added.
As such, should any protests occur during the Pride March, it should be interesting to see what action Google will or indeed can take against its employees, especially as voicing their opinions would appear to be well within the realm of free speech.
With Pride Month nearing its end then, it looks like Google and its LGBTQ+ employees still has plenty to wrestle with. It also makes videos from Google, like the one below, feel far more disingenuous.