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REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft Corp. denied Friday that it had succumbed to pressure from a prominent evangelical minister in deciding not to lobby for a bill that would have broadened Washington state protections against discrimination to include gay men and lesbians.
The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle, and The New York Times reported that Microsoft withdrew its support for the bill, which failed Thursday by one vote in the state Senate, after the Rev. Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond threatened in two recent meetings with Microsoft officials to engineer a national boycott of the software company‚Äôs products because of its past support for the measure.
The reports created an uproar among advocates for gay and lesbian rights and in the blogosphere, where Microsoft was portrayed as having abandoned its gay and lesbian employees. (MSNBC is a joint venture of...