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Why Corporations Fight for Marriage Equality

In Specific Facts on July 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

More and more major corporations are coming out on the side of marriage equality, either expressing their support of same-sex marriage or promoting LBGT-friendly products and marketing strategies.

Target has started selling t-shirt for Pride Month. JC Penney adopted Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson and has run ads featuring families with two mothers and two fathers.  Starbucks has publicly endorsed the adoption of same-sex marriage in the United States and abroad.

There are many reasons why fighting for marriage equality benefits these and other corporations, no matter what their ideological proclivities may be.

Consumer Perceptions

More and more Americans are expressing their support of same-sex marriage. A Washington Post poll in May found that 53 percent of people think that same-sex marriage should be legal, and 51 percent approved of President Obama’s recent announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.

Companies who come out against same-sex marriage risk alienating the majority of their customers, thereby losing their business. Depending on their demographic, some companies could stand to lose a lot of profits by taking a position against same-sex marriage.

Competitive Edge

Companies that do business in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, or that have laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex unions, are at a competitive disadvantage for attracting and retaining the most qualified candidates.

LGBT employees are more likely to move to states that offer same-sex marriage benefits, and companies that do business in those states are better positioned to attract the widest range of candidates. It benefits businesses to petition for same-sex marriage benefits in the states in which they reside, if not the whole country.

Overhead Costs

Companies that do business in states that offer same-sex benefits don’t have to manage two separate systems of employee benefits, reducing overhead costs. Enacting marriage equality across the country will help companies to save money by streamlining these systems.

Company Culture

As long as marriage is not an equal right for all citizens, there will be a division in the way that LGBT citizens are treated and the way heterosexual citizens are treated. Such division promotes unequal treatment of LGBT workers, which can contribute to an uncomfortable or hostile environment.

By promoting marriage equality, companies encourage a more welcoming and accepting environment, minimizing absenteeism and encouraging greater productivity, both of which affects the company’s bottom line.

While some companies may feel it is their ideological duty to fight for marriage equality, others stand to gain economic benefits. If marriage equality becomes a reality across the country, companies can attract a wide range of qualified applicants, minimize overhead costs, and encourage a working environment accepting of all. By coming out in favor of marriage equality now, companies also align themselves with the growing majority of Americans who are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

<Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at GoCollege.com, where recently she’s been researching low income scholarships and military scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandoned animals.>

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