Google has mis-steps on LGBT+ issues in recent months:
After the company’s failure to remove an application promoting conversion therapy from its store, the Human Rights Campaign suspended Google from its widely used Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which acts as a benchmark for corporate LGBT+ inclusion. Google has received a full 100 on the CEI in previous years. Apple was praised for removing the same application from its store promptly after an LGBT+ rights group’s backlash.
Internally, Google faced strong backlash from employees over the appointment of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James’ to its planned external advisory board for AI projects, the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC). Heritage, a conservative think tank, has long opposed LGBT+ rights, including non-discrimination protections. More than 2500 Google employees signed a petition protesting James’ appointment, and another AI expert invited to the board dropped out with only vague explanation. Google ultimately canceled plans for the ATEAC less than two weeks after its announcement.