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Tuesday Talk: What does the marriage amendment mean for business?

June 19, 2012 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

Several Minnesota corporate leaders have strongly voiced opposition to the state’s proposed constitutional amendment enhancing the gay marriage ban. Many business people see it as a logical business decision. Discriminatory policies hurt sales, the brand, and make it difficult to recruit the best and brightest workers.

What does the marriage equity fight say about Minnesota’s business climate? 

What does it say about Minnesota?

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  • Dan Conner says:

    June 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

    A gay marriage amendment is a reactionary way to impose a Republican intrusive government into the lives of others.  People should be able to figure out by now that Republicans don’t stand for small government, they just stand for sheltering the income of the top 1%.  However, they believe in an extremely intrusive and restrictive government for the rest of us.

  • PJ Sullivan says:

    June 19, 2012 at 9:36 am

    To me anytime that one group is prevented from rights that others have shows intolerance towards all. This makes it hard to attract new business because next time it might be you that is decided isn’t what you ought to be.

  • beth widell says:

    June 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I am both appalled and sad that this amendment issue exists. I feel like the vast majority of the people of Minnesota are accepting, open, and honest people not afraid to embrace change. This amendment gives the impression that we are closed minded, bible thumping, angry people who are afraid of change. I pray that is is defeated at the polls, but just the fact that it is there is so very wrong.

  • Sue B says:

    June 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Minnesota should not pass this backward and discriminatory amendment into our state constitution.  I hope our citizens are smart enough to reject both the proposed amendments (marriage and voter ID).  Businesses are right to speak out against the passage of the marriage amendmendment.  It could hamper their ability to hire good employees.  Why would LGBT people choose to take jobs with Minnesota companies if they are denied their civil rights in this state.  Same-sex marriage WILL soon be legal everywhere.  It’s just a matter of time.

    An African-American pastor in North Carolina said it best before they voted on the same issue in May.  People may have different personal feelings or beliefs about same-sex marriage, but that’s not the point.  The point is DO YOU FEEL IT IS EVER RIGHT TO PUT THE RIGHTS OF ANY MINORITY GROUP UP FOR POPULAR VOTE?   


  • Ron Leurquin says:

    June 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

    It says MN is an intolerant place.  Intollerant of change.  Intollerant of differences.

    That can and does lead to a belief that the ‘intollerant’ are unwilling to change or do things ‘differently’.  That will lead to companies either not locating here or not growing here.  There are lots of places around the world more tollerant and that is where those companies will chose to locate or grow.

    A question I have about all this is why, when we supposeldy have freedom of religion are we trying so hard to force a narrow religious view onto our constitution?  I realize its years, decades and even centuries of ‘tradition’ that we recognize ‘marriage’, but wouldnt it be better for government (MN in this case) to recognize ‘civil unions’ however MN choses to define ‘civil unions’ and not recognize ‘marriage’ at all?

    My beleif for a number of years now has been that my government should recognize ‘civil unions’ that can be obtained at any local cout house, and not recognize ‘marriage’.  this keeps the two things separate, like church and state should be.  This would leave each religious institution to decide who they do or do not ‘marry’.

    Any comments on that would be appreciated.

  • ChristeenStone says:

    June 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I agree with both of the letters that started this conversation. Having been married just over 69 years when my husband passed away 2 years ago I obviously believe marriage is the way to go. However, I take a dim view of the idea that either laws, or amendment should be added to define who is married. Marriage is a civil ceremony as a state law. It signifies a commitment between two people for the purpose of state laws and benefits in my opinion. A church ceremony is a commitment for two Christians to ask God’s blessing on their life together. I feel that is something each minister has to decide for himself where they draw the line.

    With the ever increasing failure of marriages and remarriages in America
    and desertation of spouses to live with some one else and the children suffer the consequences, I fail to see real commitment. Which is really sad. So if it is a degree of sin as some would term it, that is between those people and God, not a civil issue.
    I do not feel businesses should discriminate against anyone regardless of their race, or religious beliefs.So I feel they should make that clear in every way.

  • Ginny says:

    June 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

    A welcoming gay-lesbian climate in Minnesota can only improve our economy. Years ago businesses began to realize that gays and lesbians were a substantial market and that often they were more financially well off than married people, so they began to court them. (See JCP ads recently.)
    Who wants to move to a state or set up business in a state that discriminates against a substantial number of people?

  • SR says:

    June 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Since when has it become an issue for businesses to get involved in moral issues of our society?  It seems odd that the marriage amendment even has to be brought up?  It seems odd that we even have to define marriage.  Each faction seems to put blame on each other for judging each other, when in fact, each faction is just trying lay grounds for their own moral beliefs. It is odd that one faction of people are basing their moral beliefs on the economic down turn of our state. Now doesn’t that seem odd? I truly believe that either way the marriage amendment turns it will not affect business in MN! Business goes on and a small minority of people are not going to affect the outcome.  I think it is all another political ploy by the gay community.
    This whole gay rights issue is taking our eyes of the racist issues we continue to have in our communities and the poverty that is getting worse, along with broken homes and single parent families raising children and less money being raised for our public schools. Lets start talking about what is truly hurting our business!!!

  • Ron Leurquin says:

    June 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I think we are talking about what is affecting business in MN with this discusion.

    Or are you asking that we discuss the potential employees that don’t come to MN becasue of our divisive and repressive political issues?  Or those that leave MN for greener pastures when it comes to civility and acceptance within politics?

    This whole cerfluffle is politically based IMHO.  Some cannot work for the ‘common good’ of MN right now because that might reflect positively on the electeds they want to defeat, so they create unnecessary ‘issues’ that ‘need’ to be dealt with in order to get thier ‘base’ out to vote, and scare a lot of others in the middle to vote a certain way for ‘fear’ of what will happen if they dont vote or dont vote a certain way.

    How does defining marriage and requiring photo ID’s benefit MN and the business with in MN?  It doesnt, IMHO anyhow.  Its about ‘power’!

  • Ginny says:

    June 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    What’s IHMO?
    I really hate it when people use abbreviations assuming everybody knows them, and not everyone does.
    English is a handy language without compressing the living daylight out of it.

  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    June 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    When the president of a company speaks on a moral or religious issue on behalf of that company, s/he will please some customers and employees and alienate others.

    The president should make sure, however, that company hiring and promotion practices are always be on the side of fairness to all and to equality of opportunity for all.

  • Dan Conner says:

    June 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Intermixing political and religious marriage views into law is a mistake, not only because the two can be like oil and water, but also because Christianity shouldn’t be about depriving people of human rights. 

    Marriage is a decision to be made by the two adult people involved, not by the church or right wing lunatics.  Marriage is a legal right, not just some religious ritual.

  • Albert says:

    June 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

    When I attended the Harley Davidson 105th anniversary in Milwaukee with friends a few yrs back, we wandered into a renovated warehouse district mostly owned by the gay community there. They turned what was urban blight into fabulous restaurants, boutiques and quaint shops. Our group of Harley riders had great food and a great time there. It seems a world away from the sad discussion going on here.

  • Ron Leurquin says:

    June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    IMHO is In My Humble Opinion and quite frequently uused on line.  If you want, I will try to remember and type out the whole thing in the future.

    I too am not all that fond of the abreviations used, and limit myself to the most frequently used ones that I see.

    Were in a changing world, regarless of our liking it or not.

  • Ginny says:

    June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Yes, we are, and I try to limit myself to necessary abbreviations (I
    know what FBI is, oh, and FYI too), partly because I worked in
    corporations for several years and everything was abbreviated. The first
    meeting I went to in one company was totally incomprehensible because of
    acronyms and abbreviations.  Thanks for the information.