On Saturday, Internet giant Google launched its “Legalize Love” initiative, with a purpose, according to dot429.com, “of inspiring countries to legalize marriage for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people around the world.” Although initially targeting Poland and Singapore, Google plans to expand the campaign to every country where it conducts business—so pretty much everywhere, except perhaps North Korea—focusing on areas with homophobic history, laws, and culture.
According to a company rep, “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.” That spokesperson told dot429.
com, “Singapore wants to be a global financial center and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
The corporate dominoes are falling, ever falling, with Retail America focusing their efforts on the lucrative LGBT market, and its attractive buying power. JCPenney, which flexed its gay muscles when it hired openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman, also debuted an ad in its May catalog featuring a lesbian couple, and followed up in June with a gay Fathers Day-themed campaign. (The JCP catalog is received monthly by 14 million consumers.) The retailer also sponsored a float in last month’s New York Gay Pride parade. Macy’s Inc. also has a long record of supporting LGBT rights and of advertising in gay media (including the Agenda).
Last month, discount giant Target began selling greeting cards marketed to same-sex couples, including such fare as a wedding card that reads “Mr. & Mr.” It was just two years ago that the retail chain was condemned by LGBT activists for contributing $150,000 to conservative politicalaction committee MN Forward, which supported Republican Tom Emmer, a gay marriage opponent who was a candidate for Governor of Minnesota.
In addition to its commitment to social responsibility, LGBT spending power is an attractive incentive for major retailers to “come out.” According to Witeck Combs Consulting, approximately 16 million gay adult Americans possess an estimated spending power this year of $790 billion. That translates to $49,000 per capita in greenbacks for Pink America.