A recent advertisement released by the Microsoft Corporation shows the tech company's support for same-sex marriage, as it features a wedding between two women in an attempt to promote the new set of social media features accompanying the company's free email service Outlook.com.
- (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)
A third woman, presumably a friend of the couple, is able to easily see that the couple has wed using her Outlook.com account through status updates and a name change.
As critics contend, this recent advertisement holds a greater significance, as it reveals a shift in the advertising market.
In a similar case, Amazon recently featured a commercial for its Kindle Paperwhite which shows a male couple on vacation in Hawaii.
Although proponents of same-sex marriage laud the commercials, others argue that these companies are pushing political, social, and religious issues into the home uninvited.
"We have Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite commercial that promotes gay marriage. Instead of Amazon remaining neutral in the culture war while showcasing how their product has no glare even at the beach, they chose to promote sin," the conservative values group One Million Moms said in a statement, referencing the Amazon commercial.
Others have criticized these recent commercials as an attempt to use the same-sex marriage agenda to promote a product, while explaining very little about the actual product or the company behind it.
"[…] next time, ask yourself if those characters would make you feel as warm if they were straight, or simply didn't make their sexuality known. Are they gay for the sake of being gay and present for the sake of profit?" questions Tile Wolfe for The Huffington Post.
Others agree that these companies are simply taking advantage of the current social climate to promote and sell their product.
Bob Witeck, a consultant for Fortune 100 companies who specializes in LGBT marketing and communications strategies, told The Associated Press that marketing to gay and lesbian consumers no longer poses a threat to profits, especially since President Barack Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage last year.
"Things have changed significantly in terms of risk and reward," Witeck told AP. "Businesses don't view this as a risk model any longer."
This is not the first time tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft have come out in support of same-sex marriage.
In February, Amazon and Microsoft joined Google, Apple, Facebook, and Intel, among others , in filing an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act case, which questions the constitutionality of the federal law which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Additionally, Bill Gates, founder and former chief executive of Microsoft, voiced his support for the Boy Scouts of America lifting their ban on openly gay members and leaders in the inaugural installment of Politico's new interview series, Playbook Cocktails, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on March 13.
Gates said that he believes the century-old youth institution should "absolutely" lift the ban of openly gay members, his reason being "because it's 2013."
The Supreme Court is preparing to hear two same-sex marriage cases during this session, one challenging California's Proposition 8 and another challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.