A few weeks ago, a fortune 500 company located here in Minnesota, General Mills announced that they were not supporting the gay marriage amendment which will be voted on by Minnesotans this November. Other companies not only here, but throughout the country have come out and publicly opposed the amendment.
I strongly believe that companies should remain hush when it comes to controversial issues such as gay marriage and other social issues. I understand that companies want to put out the image that they are very diverse and will accommodate all different types of people. I agree in that regard. In fact many companies will hire and are friendly to gay workers. Many are very bright and talented people who are great workers and can add a lot to a company.
But the issue of gay marriage is a moral issue and many people in a company may not agree with their stance on the issue. This can cause a serious backlash and may cause some very talented employees to leave because of their beliefs. It also could have an effect on a company’s client base. Look at the backlash that happened with Starbucks. People were boycotting that chain because of their announcement of support gay marriage. Companies need to understand that many people are against gay marriage and coming out in support is a very risky proposition.
I often wonder why companies make so much of a fuss over this anyways. If a good portion of its workforce is gay, then I can see why they would want to promote their stance. But the fact is, only about 5 percent of the population is homosexual. So why is so much PR being spent trying to accommodate only a small percentage of the workplace?
I just wish that companies would stay out of these controversial issues. It might be the best business decision they will ever make.