As a leader of a company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, I’ve found myself compelled to take a stand against pending legislation that threatens to legalize discrimination and put an indelible blot on the image of the state.   Though I normally fly wide of public politics and almost never publicly share internal communications, I believe this circumstance warrants both.

Yesterday I sent a mail to the 4,300 hundred employees of GoDaddy—many of whom live and work in the state of Arizona.  It’s important to me that everyone in the company, regardless of where they live, understand that GoDaddy’s strength is in its diversity and that in opposing this legislation publicly we stand on the side of right in this matter.

I’m sharing this letter with all of you in the name of total transparency.  It read as follows:

Folks,

I don’t often wade into the political arena, however, there are pivotal moments in politics where we are faced with such potential injustice that everyone on the side of right must step in from the sidelines to speak out.  Today is such a day.

As many of you know, there is a bill that’s been proposed in the Arizona senate that would allow anyone in the state to invoke their religious beliefs as a legal basis to refuse service to anyone they choose. Effectively, if passed, this bill would legally allow discrimination inside the state’s borders.

I’ve been a vehement supporter of religious rights just as with human rights, but this clearly isn’t about that.  Since the civil rights reforms in the ’60’s we’ve agreed as a country that putting your shingle out for business is more than just commerce–it’s a contract with your community to serve them–equally and justly.  The idea of legalized discrimination for any protected group is abhorrent and cannot go uncontested.

At GoDaddy we support our employees with the same benefits and rights for same sex partners as we do traditional married partners.  Why do we do this?  We know that diversity and inclusion are important for any business that appreciates diversity of thought (the fuel for innovation), and wants to attract and employ the best and brightest talent in the world.

As a company, we honor and believe in equal rights for all people, regardless of age, color, sex, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  We believe this proposed legislation would have far-reaching negative consequences on the state and the companies that do business here–and would wrongly send a message that Arizona does not respect diversity.  One of our value statements is that that we join forces and win together.  Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of this statement and are in alignment with our company values.

I sent a personal letter yesterday to Governor Brewer asking her directly to veto this legislation.  For those of you who have reached out to me personally about this legislation, thank you for standing with me on the side of right.  For anyone else who’d like to share their thoughts or concerns about this legislation with me, my door (and inbox) are always open to you.

/Blake

Since sending the note I’ve received an overwhelming response of support, which is no surprise considering the warm hearts and brilliant minds of the men and women that make up GoDaddy.

2,500 years ago Plato wrote that “the penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil.”  I don’t think the authors of Arizona S.B. 1066 are evil, but I have no doubt that evil will be done in the name of this legislation if it’s passed into law.

It’s my hope that by sharing today other business leaders (in Arizona and around the world) will join GoDaddy in vociferously opposing this legislation.  Stand on the side of right with us and, together, let’s bring reason and justice back to the good state of Arizona.

30 thoughts on “Standing Up For What’s Right

  1. I think one of our founding fathers took Plato to heart when he said,
    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

    Great article.

    We have a request that you allow us to transfer our web businesses to our USA
    accounts. We have been loyal goDaddy customers as we are from the USA, and now,
    we are in New Zealand for a time and really need to have all our internet business under one roof. For some reason we have been told that goDaddy will not allow existing USA customers to move their New Zealand accounts to goDaddy because it is not profitable enough.

    Could you help our your existing customers?

    Thanks!!

  2. Gee Blake,

    Why doesn’t your company follow your mantra above of “Do What’s Right, Not What’s Easy” when a customer asks on day 6 instead of day 5 TO THE HOUR to cancel and refund a domain name renewal???

    I will not be recommending Go Daddy to anyone I know going forward. I would have kept one of the domain names and maybe used it. But, I canceled both because you folks wouldn’t refund my $26.43 for the one I didn’t want.

    And then, your customer service supervisor suggested I spend another $10 trying to sell the two domain names on some auction site. Stupid.

    Thanks for nothing.

    Paula Jackman
    Englewood, CO

      1. If you want to call him an idiot it’s “you’re an idiot”, JOSH! Thanks for the brilliant reminder that it is never OK to do nothing!

  3. And yet you won’t stand up for free speech. Hypocrite.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140304/16455326432/how-ice-godaddy-teamed-up-to-help-censor-mexican-protest-website.shtml and many other examples.

    GoDaddy is going downhill fast. As my domains expire I will be moving them to an honorable company.
    Free speech is not only right but IS a right.
    And as far as the Arizona bill goes it is stupid but what is worse is that someone in America can be forced by the government’s guns to do something against their religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are also a right. And it is a right whether you, me or anybody else agrees with it.
    The courts should have protected that constitutional right and Arizona wouldn’t have any reason to write the silly bill. The freedom is already enshrined in the constitution.
    Oh. And I am an atheist.

    And if I were a nazi and a jewish baker refused to make a swastika cake with Hitler on top I would go somewhere else.
    Just like I will do with my domains.
    Right AND easy.

    1. “considering the warm hearts and brilliant minds of the men and women”

      It is wonderful that you feel you are so superior to those rubes who still hold religious beliefs. Those stupid minded people must be forced to comply by brilliant minds such as yourself.
      Let’s hope no one tries to force you to do business against your beliefs, like say hosting sites for Mexican protesters. Oh wait. You have no problem discriminating against them.
      That’s some elitist thinking you got there. Pathetic.
      Bob Parsons, as someone who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, (as did I) should be hanging his head in shame in the trampling of people first amendment rights to practice religion as they see it by a company he founded.

      I do believe people should be allowed to marry who ever they like if they find a church willing to (although I’m sure you next step is to force minister do things against their beliefs) and to receive the same tax benefits (which let’s be honest it’s all about government benefits and forcing others to change their beliefs). But that doesn’t give them the right to force others to participate. It is not about human rights. It’s about preferred treatment for your own little crusade. One persons rights end when they use them to trample on someone else’s rights.
      The fact that you felt the need to put your bigotry towards religions on display for all speaks volumes.

    1. Agreed. It is shameful that people with a political agenda would force another to violate their religious beliefs to prove a point, and then sic the firepower of the state on them when they don’t get their way. Should someone force a Jewish man to fix his transmission on the Sabbath? Religious freedom is the cornerstone of ALL American liberties. Nobody has the right to force another to bake them a cake. I’m moving my business away from the politically active idiots at godaddy.

      1. obviously “FREEDOM” means nothing to some people ( i.e. the Obama and Democrat crowd in D.C.) and/or HomoLobby, etc.

  4. “Considering the warm hearts and brilliant minds of the men and women that make up GoDaddy”?

    That’s great.

  5. I am trying to contact your support team via ticket since past two days till now i got no reply.

    I will never recommend my clients godaddy because your support team looks dead and your system also failed

    Instead of writing these time wasting blogs you must focus on support and system improvements

    1. I agree with “lostguy”, focus on system improvements. Version 6 worked just fine and now you will “upgrade” to version 7. Version 7 is going backwards and not very well thought out. It offers less features than Version 6, but would work for me if it was at least as good as Version 6. I have tried calling and emailing about the loss of certain features and got nowhere. I will most likely switch to “WIX” if Version 7 is not upgraded.

  6. Man kinds religious and political beliefs will ultimately destroy the human race if we don’t open up our eyes. We must battle hate with love, discrimination with acceptance & ignorance with intelligence. Only The Truth will set us all free. Fight for the better good of humanity not radical religious and political beliefs that teach discrimination and hate!

    O.nly T.he T.ruth

  7. You shame and disgrace your own statement of “Do what’s right not what’s easy” simply because of your actions here. It’s EASY for a CEO to use his company and power to voice his opinions. It’s EASY to write a hate letter to your employees when you’re a CEO. You took the EASY road not the RIGHT one. The RIGHT choice would be, as a CEO of a large corporation, to keep you big mouth shut and your opinions to yourself. Part of what is wrong with America today is that people in position like yours spend time in politics and trying to influence others when they should stay away.

    Also, I am against same sex marriage and giving them any rights that normal married couples enjoy. Yes I said NORMAL! Simply put same sex unions are unnatural. It is also immoral to most all religions in the world. Religion aside, being unnatural, why should anyone be forced to view it otherwise? If you isolated two same sex humans can they reproduce? No, so therefore it is simply unnatural. To those who can’t understand that, it is something nature did not intend to be so. No matter how much one may want something different than nature intended, it is nature that always wins in the long run. Examples are too numerous to list.

    Since you have let me and everyone else know that GoDaddy is on the side of supporting same sex partnerships, I will begin immediately to pull all my business from GoDaddy. It is bittersweet for me as I have been a strong supporter of GoDaddy for a long time. For the past 10 years I have sent dozens of customers to GoDadddy but no longer.

    Bob Parsons is losing his mind for letting someone like you be CEO. Bye GoDaddy, I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    1. Of course it is unnatural to fly in an airplane, it is in fact artificial to do so. “Artificial” meaning anything of human creation, as in all Art is Artificial. Society, Religion, Law are all artificial, so jim.natural is out the window. Adoptions by all kinds of couples help relieve suffering, that is what Society is for. Make sure you can keep changing to keep up with Society, or else live with out anything artificial (in a cave perhaps).

  8. Since the civil rights reforms in the ’60′s we’ve agreed as a country that putting your shingle out for business is more than just commerce–it’s a contract with your community to serve them–equally and justly.

    Where in the constitution does it say that?? “We’ve Agreed!!” speak for yourself.
    Can I make stuff up as the country plods ahead
    Just do domains, your good at it.

  9. Question: should you have to right to NOT register a new customer if you disagree with them? In a free society the answer is YES. You have the right to refuse ME… And I support your right to refuse ME…

    So now after 17 years as a loyal customer I will REFUSE YOU… unless that’s now “illegal”…

    You liberals are open minded as long as EVERYONE agrees with you…

    Goodbye,

  10. Search: Gay journalist Andrew Sullivan ‘disgusted’ by gay rights ‘fanaticism’ after Mozilla CEO resigns … Hey Blake, read up buddy…

  11. I agree with Christopher Grout,”Politics are politics just as business is business. The two must stay apart.” No company leader should EVER speak politics for its own companies behalf. There is no way somebody could ever speak for an entire company. Speak out only for yourself and your opinion, not for (what you think is) your entire companies opinion.

  12. I’m curious how a company (such as GoDaddy) changes its views, based on the country they operate in. I wonder if they discriminate against entire countries/cultures, by not doing business in those areas, or if they change their points of views to do business in those countries. For instance, much of the Middle east forbids homosexuality (punishable by death) and even countries who don’t forbid it, through their legal system, overlook family honor killings to punish homosexuality. Does GoDaddy refuse to do business their?

    Does Blake Irving ride a bicycle everywhere he goes instead of driving a car, taking a plane or train, as doing so would support those countries via the purchase of crude oil? Do GoDaddy refuse to do business in China, because of their communistic censorship, even though they advertise free speech? Does GoDaddy only buy American Made and/or Free Trade computer systems and electronics for their business, due to the forced and slave labor used, in China, to manufacture it? Does GoDaddy force their employees to only buy Free-Trade & Slave-free coffee, fruits, vegetables, clothing, house-wares & etc due to the slavery issues surrounding these industries?

    Blake is just another corporate mouthpiece whose position is more of a soap box than a job/career, just like all the other big companies, in the US and around the world.

    However, I will say, I’m conflicted on the law, Blake is referring to. While my religious beliefs demand that I show love and compassion to all people, they also tell me homosexuality is wrong. I vote agains the homosexual agenda, every time I get a chance, although it is not my job to condemn them. “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” However, Why should I be forced to serve homosexuals? Why should a Christian Church minister be forced to marry them? Why should a Christian photographer be forced to take their pictures?

    We want to believe there can be a world, with out discrimination, but in reality, it is impossible. Even our own laws, intended to resolve discrimination, do more to create discrimination. The fact of the matter is, where there exists a separation of church and state, the government simply cannot tell anyone who they can/can’t choose to do business with, based on religious beliefs. I say, if a homosexual wants to get married, they should find other homosexual businesses to help them out. Find a homosexual judge, to wed them. Find a homosexual photographer to photograph them. I certainly wouldn’t do it.

  13. Dear Mr. blake,
    I’ve been trying to do everything right and somebody said that I have to do something easy first. so what should I do if something right is difficult and out of my ability? is that I have to do the easier first?
    thanks

  14. “Do what’s right”? By what standard?

    Are good and evil relative or absolute? By what standard?

    If I disagree with your “right”, am I then labeled intolerant? If so, that’s not very tolerant of you.

    Oh what an illogical web the “progressive” mind weaves.

  15. This is not about what is standing up for what is right. It is standing up for political correctness and use of force to compel people to act against their beliefs. The Constitution guarantees the right of association which includes the right to not associate with anyone I don’t want to associate with. This stand is clearly unconstitutional. Just as GoDaddy gets to choose who it does business with, under whatever criteria it chooses, all other business owners should have the right to do business with or refuse to do business with anyone they choose, for any reason. I think business owners who let their prejudices influence who they do business with are being short sighted, but it is their right, whether or not you or I agree with them. Doing what is right is not always doing what is popular — the Governor in Arizona unfortunately did not do what is right, but rather bowed to popular pressure instead. That was a sad day for Arizona.

  16. Political correctness has gone to far in this country. We, as a country has lost our moral compass and the ability to feel shame. Politicians will cater to any fringe group as long as that group has enough voting power. I, as a free man living in a free society have the right not to like a person or group. I have to right not to rent a house to people I think are evil or immoral. For that matter, just because I don’t like them. Respect and acceptance can not be legislated.

  17. Good message Blake.

    The crazies may hate you, but history is on your side. I get a chuckle out of those “patriots” who say they love freedom, then would deny it for people who don’t share their values.

    Well, history is on your side. The segregated lunch counter is gone, and it’s not coming back. Thank God.

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  19. I think the lady from Indonesia selling flower packages is probably closest to the nub of this discussion. Can I just point out that the more excitable the messages, the more spelling mistakes occur… Is that the dot.com version of spittle flying during the sermon? And where are the agnostics? Shirkers…. The economists of the religious debate …” On the one hand… And on the other hand….” ?

    The USA is an amazing place… Great to visit….but live there? In Arizona? Hmmmm. But hold!! What an amazing marketing opportunity in Arizona!! Set up a business and advertise as pantheistic ….all religions accepted!! And boho chic on sexuality… All persuasions accepted!! Wow, that’s worth coming to Arizona for…do you still fix sinuses… Or is that a bit dated?

    Handshakes, hugs and kisses….

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