Or at least he tries to strike. This item from Dan Savage’s Slog went by me last week but then I came across a follow-up that got my attention. Ken Hutcherson is the anti-gay fundie preacher from a mega-church in Redmond who is most famous for getting Microsoft to derail the anti-discrimination law in the state legislature a couple of years ago. That backfired on Microsoft in a big way and the next year they backed the bill, which passed.
Anyway, after a couple of years of obscurity Hutcherson’s back, this time trying to get Microsoft to do his bidding again. Watching the video of his question at the shareholder’s meeting, he does sound like nothing but a big blow-hard. The question following his, which you can see on the official Microsoft video at about 51:40, obviously reflects more closely the feelings of the majority at the meeting and received much more applause:
QUESTION: I own over 1,000 shares, and I also represent an investment club with many more shares. My question is for any particular person, it doesn’t matter. What can shareholders do to support the corporation in opposition against hurtful, and hateful constituent actions, particularly and specifically Reverend Hutcherson? (Applause.)
BRAD SMITH: As a company we’ve had a clear policy with respect to the way we treat our people. And we believe in that policy. It’s a policy that’s founded on non-discrimination. It’s a policy that we believe has served our employees well, it’s served our shareholders well, and I think that reflected last year when all of our shareholders were asked to vote on that policy, and over 97 percent of you, and all of our other shareholders, stood up and agreed with us. I think that it is precisely in that form that shareholders had the opportunity to continue to make their views known, and we very much appreciate that support.
The follow-up that I mentioned earlier...? Since the groundswell of support at the meeting that Hutcherson was apparently hoping for didn’t pan out, he’s trying a different tack; he’s going to take over Microsoft. I’m not sure how he intends to come up with the more than $300 billion it would take to purchase all the outstanding stock, but he thinks he can do it. I’m not going to hold my breath for a new version called Windows Revelations, or something like that.
It’s really amazing what lengths people like him will go to in order to draw attention to themselves. Just live your lives, let others live theirs, and mind your own damn business. Don’t expect everyone to conform to your ideas of what’s right just because it’s more comfortable for you. Just as you don’t want to be something you’re not, the rest of us don’t want to be you.