A group of a few hundred Christians who are employed by Google filed a petition accusing the company of religious discrimination. After the petition, Google refined its initial plans to facilitate a drag queen event for its employees.
According to CNBC, the event was part of Google’s annual tradition of sponsoring Pride events in San Francisco. The finale for the event, set to wrap up "this amazing month" per the company, was a “Pride and Drag Show” featuring the performer “Peaches Christ,” a hypersexualized drag queen and self-described “cult leader.”
The event was set to take place at a strip lounge and was going to feature “provocative and inflammatory artistry," the Christian employees claimed. Employees noted that the move was “a direct affront to the religious beliefs and sensitivities of Christians.”
Honestly, it should be an affront to anybody. No one should enjoy watching men in tights and thongs shake their butts on stage. But, this is 2023, so...I digress.
The petition, drafted by software engineer Tom Turney, accused the tech company of religious discrimination and asked for a public apology from the organizers for violating the company's own event guidelines regarding sexually explicit activity. Shortly after the petition began circulating, employees noticed that Google had removed the show from the internal company events page.
The event still took place, but without Google's official participation.
“Google confirmed to CNBC that it no longer categorized the performance as a Google-recognized diversity, equity and inclusion event. The company set up a separate social gathering at Google offices that it is now encouraging employees to attend instead,” Chris Pappas, a Google spokesperson, told CNBC. He indicated that the drag performance was planned “without going through our standard events process,” but insisted, “We’ve long been very proud to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Our Pride celebrations have regularly featured drag artists for many years, including several this year.”
As a result of the drama, the drag queen her/himself spoke out to express his intentions.
“In my world, Jesus has a sense of humor,” Peaches Christ told “USA TODAY.” “Yes, I did host a ‘Hunky Jesus’ contest. Yes, I support the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Yes, my show is called 'Midnight Mass'. But the Jesus and the God I believe in does not care.”
Perhaps Peaches is reading a different rendition of the Bible then everyone else who knows God. The one we read doesn’t encourage mockery of God.
Michael Harrington, another software engineer, told “The Federalist” that the performance crossed “an uncrossable line,” adding, “I joined Google to be an engineer, not an activist.” He also stated that he felt the situation was having “a reverse chilling effect, an emboldening effect that is, on willingness to attack Christians in the workplace in general."
It appears that Christian employees will not receive an apology and the event “mocking their beliefs” was just "promoted quietly instead of officially.”
What a lame attempt to fix your mistakes, Google.