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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook at Gay Pride Parade

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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook at Gay Pride Parade

Mike Matas

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg waving from a trolley during the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration on June 30, 2013. Facebook had about 700 employees, or 15 percent of its workforce, at the parade.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg showed up in a purple shirt to San Francisco’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration with about 700 employees, a trolley car and "Like" stamps.

This year's appearance was a far cry from last year, when only 70 employees showed up in a Jeep, according to the Wall Street Journal.  This year's 700 number consists of about 15 percent of the company's staff, and Zuckerberg appeared alongside them, albeit in a more comfy trolley car than marching with the hoi polloi.

Google's presence was also heightened with 40 percent more workers (1,400) appearing than last year. Apple said it also had a contingent there, but had no specific numbers. 

So why such a big deal this year? Likely because gay rights have had a banner year in 2013 with the recent striking down of Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act -- which was only last week -- and Silicon Valley companies want to appear to champion gay rights "in hiring practices" as well as products, the WSJ continued.

Part of the goal of technology is to be progressive and stay ahead of the curve, so tech companies not participating in one of the biggest gay pride parade in their own backyard would be a bad move. They also can't afford to appear not to be for fair hiring practices, either, which would limit their pool of engineers and other necessary professionals.

 

 

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