Thursday, February 16, 2012

Smart money on SSM

As await the melodrama of New Jersey passing same-sex marriage and Gov. Chris Christie vetoing it, the business undercurrents of SSM flow relentlessly. In today's Financial Times, columnist Michael Skapinker judges that companies are smart to support marriage equality. (FT requires free registration for a limited number of articles a month.)

He mildly ridicules Ford's constipated yes/no/yes/no/mumbled and qualified yes support. He says savvy companies and top execs do more than take care of their employees internally. They openly support gay rights and SSM legislation. That includes the likes of Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike and now Goldman Sachs. This goes beyond national and state poll results showing solid and growing support for equality.

He notes that such companies want to attract and retain the best employees, including homosexual ones. Moreover, there are fairness and ethics — "If you work with people every day, it doesn't seem right that some of their partners benefit from their health and pension plans whole others don't."

Among Skapinker's conclusions, "That companies are prepared to be bolder than presidential candidates in turning this tide should be a matter of pride. Sometimes, after weighing up the rights of the company’s customers, shareholders and staff, you just have to do the right thing."

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