Scott Kaiser

Why Must We Be Just Plain Petty?

Filed By Scott Kaiser | October 24, 2008 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Apple, California Proposition 8, gay marriage, LGBT community, marriage amendment, Prop 8, same-sex marriage

This is what really bothers me about the gay community.

Apple today came out publicly opposing Prop. 8 in California (the anti-gay marriage amendment). They also donated $100,000 to the "No on Prop. 8" cause. Given what a controversial issue it is, it was a bold thing for them to do. Regardless of whether Prop. 8 is right or wrong, there are people on both sides of the issue who feel very passionately about it. By taking a stance, Apple risks alienating part of their customer base and losing sales (in effect costing them more than the $100k donation).

Despite this, some of my fellow members of the LGBT community are chiding Apple for not giving more than $100k. WTF? Apple supports us, and then we criticize them for it? How much do you really think that will inspire Apple or other companies to give to our causes in the future?

I was always told not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Apparently some of my LGBT brethren missed out on that lesson. By whining about the size of Apple's contribution, they hurt us all.

I would suggest to the people that feel Apple's donation was too small to look at all the hundreds of companies out there that gave nothing - NOTHING - to the "No on Prop. 8" initiative. At this time the No on Prop. 8 website includes a list of only 13 companies, including Apple, that have publicly opposed Prop. 8. Four of those are chamber of commerces and not true businesses. It also doesn't say which ones actually donated (I know Google opposes the measure, but did they donate anything?). If we should be publicly scolding anybody, it should be the companies that didn't take any sort of stand at all.

In the meantime, I will be even more likely to use Apple products and services as my way of thanking them for doing the right thing.

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People are upset that Apple didn't donate more? ReallY? I should think that Apple should get letters (emails) of THANK YOUs. They didn't have to donate ANYTHING. How many other companies out there are just standing by NOT doing anything at all? I give kudos to Apple (google, and the others) for donating to rid california of discrimination.


You're making a mountain out a molehill, first and foremost. But more importantly, by playing up a fake division in the community, you give ammunition to the Yes on 8 folks.

Your chiding is false and petty because it's done to generate a controversy where none really exists. I would say that ginning up more dust over an offhand remark is far more damaging than the remark itself.

Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 24, 2008 7:49 PM

I would suggest you go back and read your post. You not only call them "cheap" for donating just $100k in the post, you reiterate that sentiment in the comments.

You also don't take in account the public backlash that they could face from the religious right. I'll bet Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or Dr. James Dobson calls for a boycott on Apple products.

I just want to know where your criticism of those companies that gave nothing and didn't take a public stand is.

Let's thank Apple for their leadership rather than calling them "cheap" for not giving more when they didn't have to give anything at all.

I still think you're making a mountain out of a molehill and doing far worse damage in the process.

It was a flip comment meant to be flip. You're blowing it up into something it was never intended to be.

So what if they didn't have to give anything? It still doesn't change my opinion that they could've afforded more. It also doesn't change the fact that this is a ridiculous thing to get worked up about nor does it change the fact that I'm one of the biggest Apple fans you'll ever find.

If I were seriously being critical, I'd have pointed out several other things - like how long they waited to take a stand or how weak their statement really was - almost apologetic in some ways.

Instead I said I thought they were being skimpy. Considering the circumstances and the amounts of money involved on both sides, I think they were a bit skimpy and no amount of bitching about the indignity of it is going to change my mind.

I'll reiterate what I said earlier - if you were seriously worried about the damage, you wouldn't be making it bigger than it is. A comment on the original post, which you'd already left, was sufficient.

Mountain out of a molehill. Controversy out of nothing.

Mew, meow! Hiss, hiss!


Well, you know, Apple names all of its operating systems after cats.


Scott Kaiser Scott Kaiser | October 25, 2008 11:51 AM

I still stand by my original sentiment that you were needlessly bitchy about a gift to our community even if you now say that it was a flip comment. Sorry, but even flip comments are still bitchy.

You have your opinion though; I have mine. I'll agree to disagree as I think I've said everything I want to say about it.

As for the mechanics of this becoming a separate post, that is an editorial decision. I am only a contributor; the editors decide whether or not a post runs. When I submitted this I told Bil you may not like it and therefore he didn't have to run it.

The overall message of my post was that we, the gay community, sometimes tend to be overly critical of things even when someone does something to help us. I felt it was a different enough topic, but that decision ultimately lies with the editors. If the editors disagree and want to keep it part of the original thread, they make that decision, not me.

Sorry, Scott. You can't absolve yourself from blame just because there are editors. You wrote the post. You submitted it. And you contacted Bil to get it fast-tracked to approval.

The editors are juggling 20 pieces of content a day. Sometimes they need to fill a gap in coverage, so they are quite often happy to take ANY content that someone writes.

Almost everything submitted gets published here and most people realize that. It was not an editorial decision to write the post or gin up a fake controversy, that was your decision.

And yeah, maybe it was bitchy, but that's OK. I'm known as the bitchy one, so I guess it fits my mold pretty well. Thanks for reinforcing the brand.

As for the mechanics of this becoming a separate post, that is an editorial decision. I am only a contributor; the editors decide whether or not a post runs.

You'd better be careful... That's a good way to get promoted to the Ed Team around here! *grins* :)

The overall message of my post was that we, the gay community, sometimes tend to be overly critical of things even when someone does something to help us.

Now this is a statement we can all agree with!

How do I love my Mac. Let me count the ways...

thanks Apple

What is the total monetary limit of direct corporate contributions to a political campaign in the State of California, by a corporation based in California? That detail might provide the $100,000 answer.

Regardless, I'm glad Apple did it. I don't see Microscrew, er, Microsoft matching them, let alone Dell, HP, etc.

I am a proud Mac user, and shall remain so. Let Limbaugh and Dobson and their friends suffer along with Microsoft Virus, er, Vista, the worst OS since, uh, Windows ME?

They tried to pass a law (Prop 89) in 2006 to limit corporate contributions to ballot measures to $10K (and to add public financing to elections,) but it apparently failed. There are currently no limits for corporations giving to ballot measures.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have donated, respectively, $100,000 and $40,000 of their own money to defeat Proposition 8. I wonder if Steve Jobs has donated anything personally.

Wow, this was a HUGE dust up over a flip remark. However, the fact that it went on and on even bleeding to a new post (hilariously so) says, IMHO, the remark was not so flip.

And yes, never look a gift horse in the mouth. Thanx APPLE!!

You're not the only one who noticed this one went on to it's own post, Taylor. Wow. I never thought I'd get e-mails over that!

I was the first one to comment on Jerame's post and I agreed with him that I thought the amount was a tad small. I say this just because of my love of all things Apple. Why?

I know they have a bajillion dollars in the bank and I tend to think of Apple as the White Knight riding in to save the day. Knowing that Apple is so rich and popular, it's almost like my knight came in riding leather armor instead of metal.

That said, it's not as if I'm going to turn away a knight - no matter how he's dressed!

Also - as a bit of backstory... I sat beside Jerame while he wrote the post. Scott IMd with the news, I called Alex to see if he wanted to update his upcoming post and A, J and I agreed that since Jerame is such a Mac fanatic, he'd write his own post. Since we were trying to catch a bit of the early news traffic, he kept the post short and sweet and spent all of about 5 minutes writing it. The last sentence was nothing but a flip remark as he ran over to Bilerico-Indiana to finish a post there that he'd already started work on.

Long story short - I agree with Jerame: Mountain out of a molehill. :)

I forgot to add though - it was my decision to run this as a separate post; not Scott's, Alex's or Jerame's. Mea culpa. :)

Thanx Bil ...
I think this all shows how close to our hearts this issue is, AND, how stressful this political season has become.

** sidenote: just think how insane we'd be without SNL to give us needed comic relief! **

It speaks to millions, a much greater value than $100,000, the fact that Apple is opposing prop 8.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 26, 2008 7:36 AM

I am coming late to this conversation, but want to throw in my two cents anyway.

While there is great rending of hair and gnashing of teeth over the amount of money that Apple has contributed to No on Prop. 8,let's keep in mind that they have given more than a lot of wealthy LGBT people have. Too many of the moneyed gays continue to sit on great piles of cash waiting for the rest of us to secure civil rights protections that they are in the best positions to enjoy.

If we want to call someone out for not doing enough to defeat Prop. 8, the rich gays who have contributed nothing are the ones we should be aiming at.

Michael, I agree with you. In fact, I have seen the gnashing of teeth over the "A gays" not donating or not donating enough. I figured if it was OK to eat our own for not doing enough, it was OK to pick at a mega-corporation with more money than God at their disposal too.

Hell I just saw an email from one of our other contributors bitching about Barbara Boxer's late entrance to the fray.

At this point, with less than 2 weeks to go, I think everyone should be going all in - that includes corporations, politicians, "A-gays", everyone.

And I feel pretty OK with criticizing anyone who doesn't do all they can. It's critical that we win this one - it's California. You know the saying - As goes California, so goes the nation.

If they overturn same-sex marriage in CA, we'll be set back by decades.

oh, wow, staying out of this one!