We are proud to be recognised as a leader in LGBT inclusion efforts, but there is still a long way to go to achieve full equality. Legalise Love is our call to decriminalise homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.
I’d like to stress that the point of this post is not about their cause. I’m not even surprised at this announcement, considering Google has a history of supporting leftist organizations and causes. The bottom line is that Google has a constitutional right to advocate whoever or whatever they want.
The problem occurs when the same people who considered the decision of the Citizens United v. FEC decision a victory for legalized bribery now turn around and call this an “admirable campaign slogan”. If you’re going to oppose groups spending money on political causes, at least do it consistently!
What is the Citizens United v. FEC case? Essentially, Citizens United is a conservative group that paid for and released a political video about Hillary Clinton back in 2008. Unfortunately, they were not allowed to air the video, as corporations were prohibited from spending money on independent political expenditures (not coordinated with a candidate) advocating the defeat or election of a federal candidate. The decision by the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to spend money to make statements about whatever political causes or candidates they choose!
Citizens United v. FEC is a case widely held by its critics as the promotion of “corporate personhood” or (as I quoted earlier) “legalized bribery”. Even President Barack Obama made a blatantly false statement to the American people about the decision of this law, showing a stunning lack of knowledge of the decision. He claimed that “foreign corporations” would now be able to “spend without limits in our elections.
Unfortunately, foreign corporations still do not benefit from the Citizens United decision or 1st amendment rights. And critics still seem to forget that corporations, like individuals, still have a significant amount of regulations related to direct political donations. The Citizens United case covers political speech. If any organized group, be it a company, labor union, or community organization, decides to spend its own money on a book, pamphlet, movie, or commercial advocating a political cause or candidate, the government does not have the right to ban it. Isn’t that a good thing? Unfortunately, many in the country have an extreme misunderstanding of the decision.
We essentially have two different scenarios that could have been achieved with this decision back in 2010. The Supreme Court could have decided that the government could keep doing what it had been doing – deciding which political statements are “acceptable” and which organizations are bound by the law. This further politicizes the process, creating lobbyists to convince the government that their political speech should be approved. The other alternative is banning it altogether. Both of these alternative scenarios lead to a controlling government that silences all coordinated opposition.
The best alternative is to allow all organizations to support their own political causes by starting campaigns, publishing books, or producing movies. In this, we preserve the political process and allow for open debate and freedom of speech as guaranteed in the Constitution.
So if you oppose the Citizens United decision, you need to make sure you truly oppose the principle of groups spending their own money on their own political agendas in all cases – not just for the causes you don’t like.