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Holy Shit. Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center asks Microsoft for its award back

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Oh. My. God.

Now THAT is balls.

And by the way, this is why this is signfificant:

"Founded in 1971, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is the largest gay and lesbian organization in the world. With an annual budget of $35 million, the Gay & Lesbian Center offers the widest array of services to gay men and lesbians available anywhere in the world."

Now here's the Center's press release:

In response to Microsoft's withdrawal of support for legislation that would have outlawed discrimination against gay and lesbian people in Washington, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which presented Microsoft with its Corporate Vision Award in 2001, is asking the company to return the award.

"We honor companies that, among other things, set a high standard for others by exhibiting leadership in advancing the cause of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual equality," said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings. "Because of Microsoft's apparent capitulation to the demands of anti-gay extremists and withdrawal of support for a bill that would do nothing more than protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination, we believe it's no longer worthy of our highest corporate honor."

At the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's 30th Anniversary Gala in 2001, Microsoft was honored because the company had been a leader in opposing anti-gay initiatives, was one of the first companies to offer domestic partnership benefits and include sexual orientation in its corporate non-discrimination policy, and has supported AIDS and GLBT organizations across the country. Center leaders are concerned about the company's apparent shift in its support of civil rights legislation for the GLBT community. Phone calls from the Center to Microsoft have not been returned.

"One of the most basic civil rights is protection from discrimination," said Cummings. "By withdrawing support for legislation that would protect the GLBT community from discrimination -- especially in its home state -- we're very concerned about the direction Microsoft is headed. It sends a dangerous message to the rest of corporate America, and to society in general, and may be cause for our community to evaluate its support of Microsoft."

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