America’s Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States
Excerpt from article: “Conservative Republican control has allowed them to dilute that urban strength,” says Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University …
In 1992, Tim Gill was living a Rocky Mountain version of the familiar tech dream. A sci-fi buff and self-described “pathological introvert,” he’d earned degrees in applied mathematics and computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and then, in 1981, founded the publishing-software company Quark in his apartment, with a $2,000 loan from his parents. When Quark took off, Gill became rich. He eventually sold his stake for half a billion dollars. But in 1992, he was merely the multimillionaire chairman of a successful tech company.
Gill was also gay. This aspect of his life, too, had a kind of dream-like quality. He came out to his parents as a teenager and was immediately accepted. In college, he joined a gay organization and started speaking to classes, “having all of nine months’ experience under my belt at being gay,” he said recently, at his offices in Denver. In his early career, comfortably ensconced in the tech world’s creative class, he rarely encountered prejudice or hostility. His gayness was never an issue.
Then, in 1992, Christian groups in Colorado began pushing a ballot measure, Amendment 2, that would prevent nondiscrimination ordinances against gays and lesbians and repeal those already in effect in Denver, Boulder, and Aspen. “It was a shock,” says Gill. What was more shocking, though, was that some of his own employees supported the ban, openly and at work. One of them even placed a “Vote ‘Yes’ on Amendment 2” sign on her desk. “Everyone has the right to their opinion, of course,” says Gill. “But I was astonished people would vote against the rights of the person signing their paycheck.” READ MORE