I’m going to keep this post as simple as possible and do my best attempt to keep is as civil as possible, but I can already tell you I’ll probably drop a few choice words here that may not be “professional.” Honestly, that’s okay, because I shouldn’t have to be professional regarding this topic. I’m not going to try to hide my political beliefs in this post, but I am also 100% going to say that:
- Human rights are not political
- Abortion is healthcare
- Love is love
This post is not meant to be political but it’s going to be taken as political because people don’t get that basic facts that I stated above. Frankly, I don’t feel comfortable writing political posts because it’s not my specialty, but I need to write about this. I am a member of not only the Mac Admins community but the LGBTQIA+ community. This 100% affects me and my friends, colleagues, and loved ones. One last time… this shouldn’t be political, but it became political for some stupid fucking reason.
So here we go…my first ever “political” post.
I’m going to the cut right to the chase; the reason I am writing this is because Jamf is hosting their annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the “largest gathering of Apple enthusiasts in the world,” in Austin Texas this year. Now, if you’re new to my site (wow, what a welcome…), I’m a Mac Admin and Jamf is a tech company that makes the most popular and widely used Mac management platform in the world. I have spoken at JNUC several times and always felt that the company was pretty on the ball regarding social responsibility. Their decision to hold their annual gathering of Mac Admins in a state that has a known track record of dehumanizing marginalized groups is flat out absurd.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of states passing laws that are harmful to marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community and women seeking reproductive healthcare. These laws allow discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals under the guise of religious freedom and can create a hostile environment for members of the community. Hell, just this weekend Texas Republican lawmakers are trying to tell ISPs to block abortion websites! If people don’t understand that this stuff will not stop and will only continue to get worse, you are being willingly ignorant.
All these laws that have passed are a violation of human rights and represents a step backwards by our society as a whole. By holding a conference in states that have passed anti-abortion and LGBTQIA+ laws, you are sending a message that you are willing to do business in a state that is actively working against the interests of this community. Moreover, you are putting your own employees and attendees in a difficult situation; women and LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies may not feel safe traveling to or attending events in a state that has shown such hostility towards their community. It’s important for companies to consider the social and political climate of the locations they choose to do business in, and to take a stand against harmful legislation that targets marginalized communities.
Remember in 2016 when the NCAA pulled March Madness games out of North Carolina over discriminatory laws against the LGBTQIA+ community? Or when a ton of production companies threatened to pull out of North Carolina and Georgia over their anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQIA+ laws? That was the right choice, and in some cases it worked.
Jamf, take a note. And don’t use the excuse that “this was planned before these laws were passed.” Where the fuck have you been, Jamf? Texas has fought against same sex couples well into the 2010s and as of right now, no Texas state law protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity (source). Texas has also had anti-abortion bills come up since at least 2013.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, you also had JNUC 2022 on Rosh Hashana. I get it, it’s really hard to predict when the Jewish high holiday is. It’s not like I can look up the dates for Rosh Hashana for many many years in the future. But I digress.
I made the very easy decision to skip JNUC 2023 when it was announced last year that it would be in Austin, and I made my reason very clear to Jamf and to others in my field. I will gladly take my dollars to another conference that is held in a state that doesn’t pass anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. I will gladly spend my money on an organization that doesn’t support states that pass harmful legislation that targets marginalized communities.
I hope you’re still here because if you are that means that you either like my writing (oh boy) or more importantly, you care. What can you do to do help this situation?
There’s an extremely simple answer: don’t attend conferences in states that make dehumanizing laws! That’s it! It’s not hard! Instead, donate directly to organizations that are actively helping these communities. There are good people in these states, and I can almost guarantee that there are more good than bad there. These people are fighting the good fight and need help. So if you can spare anything, check out some of these links for donations:
- Equality Texas: Equality Texas works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.
- Transgender Education Network of Texas: TENT is an organization dedicated to furthering gender-diverse equality in Texas. We work to accomplish this through education and networking in both public and private forums. Through our efforts, we strive to halt discrimination through social, legislative, and corporate education.
- Campaign for Southern Equality: At the Campaign for Southern Equality, we’re working to build a South where LGBTQ people are equal in every sphere of life.
- Planned Parenthood
I have disabled comments on this post because frankly, this isn’t something that should be up for debate. I also don’t feel like dealing with the Christian extremists or Republicans trying to justify the choices these states made. If you like this post, please share it far and wide.
If you don’t like this post or it makes you mad, good.