Yet another company has come out in support of marriage equality in Washington state! Outdoor retailer, REI, announced their support through a blog post to the company’s 11,000 employees. CEO and President Sally Jewell had this to share:
Marriage equality is important to the co-op because the benefits, legal clarity and societal understanding that Warren and I have enjoyed these past 34 years should be available to any two people who want to express their love and make a permanent commitment to each other that is so clearly provided for in the legal definition of marriage.
REI joins the likes of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and other companies with a large presence in Washington state that have come out in favor of marriage equality.
Hey Minnesota CEOs, I think it may be time…
In June, Charlie Zelle, CEO of Jefferson Lines, shared his opinions on why the marriage amendment is simply bad for Minnesota.
Minnesota businesses reflect the values of most Minnesotans. “Quality of Life” isn’t just a trite phrase for those of us who make our homes here. It is a recognition that our state thrives when we have communities that prosper, cultural and recreational opportunities that are world-class, and an environment that celebrates diversity. Business leaders are opposing the marriage amendment because it’s the right thing to do.
He goes on to highlight how important an open and diverse culture is in attracting talent for Minnesota businesses:
[The] job-creators of the future aren’t here because of the weather. A key driver for young, educated workers — not just gays and lesbians, but educated young workers in general — is a community’s openness.
Yet another CEO shares his views on why amendment is bad for Minnesota and bad for business. Zelle concludes his piece with a plug to vote NO:
Minnesotans also should have no doubts on the marriage amendment. Doing the right thing — voting against the amendment — is also the smart business strategy.
I truly am disappointed that more business leaders have not been willing to go public with their opposition. The business case for diversity is unassailable. If you are going to have any hope of competing in today’s business environment, which is only getting more diverse, you will need to attract, and keep, the best, most diverse set of employees-regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
John Taft, CEO, RBC Wealth Management
John Taft, CEO, RBC Wealth Management, is not only speaking out against the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall, he’s encouraging others to do so as well.
My goal is to have several hundred high-profile business executives declare themselves in opposition to the marriage amendment sometime between now and the election. And I am very confident we are going to be able to do that.
Taft’s message is simple: There is a strong business case to oppose this amendment. Companies need to be able to compete for the best talent, and this amendment would only serve as a detractor to the state of Minnesota.
Tonight, I had the honor to attend General Mills’ annual Pride reception. This is the second year I’ve had the opportunity to attend the event, and as Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, shared, there were more than 200 companies represented tonight.
But what really stole the show was when CEO, Ken Powell took the stage to talk about how his company supports diversity and inclusion and how there is a big issue facing Minnesota this fall and that has to do with marriage. Specifically, the proposed constitutional amendment that would update our state constitution to ban marriage between same-sex couples.
Here’s what Mr. Powell had to say on that. Be prepared to be amazed:
…on a proposed constitutional amendment in November. If passed, this amendment would define marriage in our state constitution as being between one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota. If defeated, Minnesota voters would send a strong message about our state’s view of the importance of inclusiveness and diversity. I think it’s very clear that the outcome of this election is very uncertain. Ban proponents have won most ballot contests, but Minnesota is seen as one of the best opportunities in the nation to defeat such a ban. Maybe building on the momentum of states like New York and Washington. And frankly, I don’t think we know what will happen.
But we know what position General Mills will take, and I want to share that with you myself.
For decades, General Mills has worked to create an inclusive culture that welcomes and values the contributions of everyone. We’re proud of our workplace, we’re proud to be an employer of choice, we’re proud to be a leader for diversity and inclusion.
So I want to be clear: We oppose the proposed constitution…
[Cheers and applause, standing ovation for Mr. Powell]
We oppose the amendment. We don’t believe it’s in the best interest of our state, our business, or our employees. As a Minnesota-based business, we oppose it.
Talk about an inspiration. I can’t help but think what a historic moment this was to be part of and I’m so thankful for CEO Ken Powell’s support along with the support of General Mills.
Congratulations to my friends and colleagues in Betty’s Family. You deserve to be very proud.
Great op ed piece from former Medtronic CEO, Bill George, speaking out against the Minnesota marriage amendment.
According to George:
Our corporate leaders need to speak out forcefully against this amendment, because their companies have the most to lose if it passes. To date, only former CEOs Wheelock Whitney and Marilyn Carlson Nelson have done so, while other corporate leaders have been notably silent.
I couldn’t agree more! Unfortunately, nearly six months since starting this blog, and not much movement has been made. In a month, we’ll be celebrating Pride in the Twin Cities and these same companies will be out in big numbers. Unfortunately, no one will think twice about picking up their goody bags or other assorted junk that gets handed out in the park.
I can’t help but wonder if that’s the problem? Have we become too complacent in the fight? My best friend said to me the other day, “In 15 years, this will all be history, so what’s the point worrying about it now?”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just sit around and wait for history to happen. That’s the kind of mentality that’s going to lose this fight.