Page 1






The Business Case for

MARRIAGE EQUALITY What is Marriage Equality? Marriage is about love, commitment, and family. The Illinois bill proposing marriage equality is called the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The Act would guarantee that all marriages, regardless of whether they are between opposite-sex or same-sex couples, will come with the same protections, rights, and responsibilities for the parties to the marriage and their children. Same-sex parties to a marriage and their children will be treated under Illinois law as if federal law recognized marriages of same-sex couples in the same way that Illinois does.

Why is Marriage Important? Gay and lesbian individuals want to get married to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families. Governments use the institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units. There are 1, 138 federal rights that are inherent in marriage and are denied to same-sex couples that cannot wed. In addition, the state of Illinois affords 648 protections to married couples and their families. Some of these rights include: • Hospital visitation rights • Ability to put the entire family, including a partner and his/her children on one medical and/or life insurance plan • Automatic inheritance, even without a will • Privilege from testifying against the partner in court • Ability to make medical decision for his/her partner in an emergency • Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children • Right to take unpaid leave from work to care for a sick partner • Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples







#2 #3

MYTH: Marriage equality changes the definition of marriage. FALSE. Allowing same-sex couples to get married does not change the definition of marriage. Marriage will remain an institution entered into by two people who love each other and seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other and protect their families. MYTH: If marriage equality is legalized, all churches and religious institutions will be forced to perform same-sex marriages and recognize those unions as legitimate. FALSE. Marriage equality legalizes civil marriage for same-sex couples. This means that religious institutions are not affected in any way. No religious institution would ever be forced to marry same-sex couples or recognize same-sex marriages within their belief system. MYTH: Marriages between gays and lesbians have a negative effect on children. FALSE. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage harms children by denying them and their families the rights, protection, and sense of legitimacy that comes with legal marriage. Studies consistently show that children of gay and lesbian couples are equally as well adjusted as those of opposite-sex couples. In fact, all major child welfare experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry because all families benefit from the protections and security that marriage brings. Millions of children are currently being raised by a same-sex couple and the only way to ensure these children have the same rights, benefits, and protections as their neighbors and classmates is if their parents are allowed to be married.



#4 #5

MYTH: Illinois already has civil unions and those provide the same rights as marriage. FALSE. Civil unions are not equal to marriages. The institution of marriage has a long legal and cultural history, so employers, businesses, and other societal actors know how to treat married couples, which is not the same for civil unions. Equality Illinois has documented numerous instances where private institutions, such as businesses, have not recognized civil unions as equal to marriage for the purpose of providing benefits. Because of the confusion over the status and rights of civil union couples, they are constantly unsure of how they will be treated by different people around their state. The bottom line is, because civil unions and marriages are two separate institutions, this implies that the love and commitment that same-sex couples share is less valid than that of opposite-sex couples who have the option of being married. MYTH: Marriage is a historical institution that has so far remained unchanged. FALSE. Marriage has actually evolved throughout history to meet the needs of our society. At various points in the past it was common to have arranged marriages, women were thought of as inferior their husbands, the woman’s family had to pay a dowry, and first cousins often got married. Biblical heroes had multiple wives or else had children with their daughters. Until 1967, states defined marriage as a union limited to people of the same race. During the decades when the majority of Americans supported bans on interracial marriage, proponents of the ban called marriage between a man and woman of different races “unnatural,� anti-religious, and claimed that our society would become eroded if the definition of marriage was altered and broadened. Today, these arguments against interracial marriage seem dated and bigoted, but the same language is being used to attack equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.



Ten Reasons Business Leaders SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY:

one two three

Support for marriage equality helps companies maintain a competitive edge for the best talent by demonstrating a commitment to creating an open, healthy, and equitable environment in which to live and work. The lifeblood of a company is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. To be successful, it’s critical that the workforce is as diverse as the customers.


Being able to select from a broader pool of employees will lead to a stronger workforce, enabling the company to thrive and earn more revenue.


Marriage equality would put employers in Illinois on an equal footing with employers in states that have already recognized the committed relationship of same-sex couples.

six seven eight nine ten 6|

Supporting marriage equality shows respect and value for the dignity of all employees.

There is no substitute for employees with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Support for marriage equality will enable every minority employee to feel secure and valued. Attracting talent to Illinois is key to our state’s economic future. Support for marriage equality helps build a reputation for fairness. Leading on the issue of equality is the right thing to do.




Business Leaders Supporting


Bruce Bastian, Founder of WordPerfect Software Company Candace Beinecke, Chair of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Tom Bernstein, President and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers L.P., Former Principal of Silver Screen Management Inc. Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Michael Bloomberg, Founder and Owner of Bloomberg L.P. Kevin Burke, Chairman, President, and CEO of Consolidated Edison Inc. Kenneth Cole, Clothing Designer, Founder of Kenneth Cole Productions Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom Daniel Doctoroff, President of Bloomberg L.P. Patrick Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons P.C. Tom Ford, Fashion Designer and Film Director Bill Gates, Former CEO and Current Chairman of Microsoft Tom Glocer, Former CEO of Thomson Reuters and Reuters Jonathan Grayer, Former Chairman and CEO of Kaplan Inc. Robert Haas, Chairman Emeritus of Levi Strauss & Co. Marc Jacobs, head designer for Marc Jacobs and Creative Director for Louis Vuitton Klaus Kleinfeld, Former CEO of Siemens AG, CEO of Alcoa Inc Rochelle Lazarus, Chairman and former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Daniel Loeb, Manager and Founder of Third Point LLC John Mack, Senior Advisor, Former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Morgan Stanley Richard Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup Alan Patricof, Founder of Apax Partners Ronald Perelman, Owner of MacAndrews & Forbes Holding Inc. Laura Ricketts, Co-Owner of the Chicago Cubs and CEO of Dan Rubin, Partner at Alloy Ventures William C. Rudin, President of Rudin Management Company Kevin Ryan, Founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe, Former CEO of DoubleClick Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Paul Singer, Founder and CEO of Elliott Management Corporation Jerry Speyer, Founder of Tischman Speyer, Owner of Rockefeller Center Jes Staley, Chief Executive of J.P. Morgan Stuart Match Suna, Co-Owner and President of Silvercup Studios Jonathan Tisch, Chairman of Loews Hotels, Co-Chairman of Loews Corporation Steve Tisch, Owner of the New York Giants Bernard Whitman, President of Whitman Insight Strategies Anna Wintour, Editor In-Chief of Vogue Kathryn Wylde, President and Chief Executive of the Partnership for New York City and Deputy Chair to the Board the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software and Partner of ZelnickMedia LLC Mortimer Zuckerman, Owner of New York Daily News, Editor In-Chief of U.S. News and World Report





In Their Own Words: America’s corporations learned long ago that equality is just good business and is the right thing to do.” – Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and Former U.S. of the Treasury Chairman and Secretary CEO of Goldman Sachs

“Our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion. This important legislation [Washington’s marriage equality bill] is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive, and safe work environment for all of our partners.” - Kalen Holmes, Executive Vice President in Partner Resources of Starbucks

“The spirit of these bills is consistent with our longstanding employment practices.” - Mary Osako, Spokeswoman for Amazon

“At Microsoft we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest assets. As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. Employers in the technology sector face an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent. Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples… This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.” - Brad Smith, General Counsel to Microsoft

“Anything that makes Indiana less inclusive and less welcoming for our current employees and for our future employees makes it more difficult for Cummins to compete. - Mark Osowick, Recruiting Director for Cummins, speaking about a potential ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana





At the end of the day, marriage equality will come: partly through the courts; partly through the legislative process. More and more community leaders will offer their support, and someday soon gays and lesbians across America will be able to choose get married, or not. Which side of history do you want to be on?” – Bernard Whitman, Media Commentator and President of Whitman Insight Strategies

In our democracy, near equality is no equality. Government either treats everyone the same, or it doesn’t. And right now, it doesn’t. I can’t tell them [gay New Yorkers] that marriage is not for them. I can’t tell them that a civil union is good enough. The question for every New York State lawmaker is: Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or as an obstructionist? – Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, Founder and Owner of Bloomberg L.P.

As far as I’m concerned, having the right to say ‘I do’ is as fundamental as the right to vote.” – Anna Wintour, Editor- in-Chief of Vogue





National Household Brands SUPPORT MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Alcoa Alcoa

LeviLevi Strauss & Co. Strauss & Co.

Alloy AlloyVentures Ventures

MarcMarc Jacobs Jacobs

Amazon Amazon

Microsoft Corp. Microsoft Corp.

Armani Exchange Ben & Jerry’s

Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley

Ben & Jerry’s Bloomberg


Bloomberg CitiGroup

CitiGroup The Corcoran Group Concur Concur Consolidated Edison Consolidated Edison Cummins Cummins Expedia Expedia Gilt GiltGroupe Groupe GiorgioArmani Armani Corp. Giorgio Google Google GoldmanSachs Sachs Goldman Group Health Plan Group Health Plan Kenneth Cole The Corcoran Group

Nixon Peabody Nixon Peabody

Ogilvy and Mather Pacific Gas and Electric Pacific Gas and Electric Company Company Real Networks Real Networks Sequoia Capital Sequoia Capital Silvercup Studios Silvercup Studios Starbucks Corp. Starbucks Corp. Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters Viacom Viacom Vulcan Vulcan Xerox Xerox Ogilvy and Mather

Kenneth Cole

10 |




Marriage Equality: Fair t o Families, Good for Business, Great for Illinois FINANCIAL IMPACT Allowing - Allowingsame-sex same-sexcouples couplestotomarry marrywill willhave havepositive positiveeffects effects on on the the Illinois Illinois economy FINANCIAL IMPACTand tax revenues. projects additional revenues. Should Should marriage marriageequality equalitybecome becomelaw lawininIllinois, Illinois,The TheWilliams WilliamsInstitute Institute projects additional between $39 $39 and $72 $72 million over over three three years yearsjust justfrom fromweddings weddingsby byIllinois Illinoisresidents. residents. revenue of between ECONOMIC PULL -According AccordingtotoThe TheWilliams WilliamsInstitute, Institute, ifif marriage marriage equality was legal nationwide, ECONOMIC PULLnationwide, there there estimated $16.8 $16.8 billion billion added addedto tothe thenation’s nation’seconomy economyfrom fromsame-sex same-sexweddings. weddings. would be an estimated BROAD NEED -According Accordingto tothe thelatest latest census, census, there are over 650,00 BROAD NEED650,00 same-sex same-sexcouples couplesininthe theUnited UnitedStates. States. Illinois is is home hometo toalmost almost40,000 40,000ofofthese thesecouples, couples,about about 21% whom raising children. Illinois 21% ofof whom areare raising children. GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY Same-sex couples couples live in all throughout DIVERSITY--Same-sex all regions regionsof ofIllinois, Illinois,and andthere thereare are4444cities cities throughout state that that are arehome hometo to50 50or ormore moresame-sex same-sexcouples coupleseach. each. the state

JUST THE FACTS u T  heself self identified identified U.S. LGBT population have a combined purchasing • The populationin in2010 2010isis15 15to to16 16million millionpersons, persons,who who have a combined purchasing power $743 exceeding power exceeding billion.$743 billion. • The is $46,326,while $46,326,whilethe themedian medianhousehold householdincome incomeofofgay gay men $83,000 u T  hemedian median U.S. U.S. household income is men is is $83,000 and and$80,000 $80,000 for for lesbians. • The U.S. Census Urban Institute Institutereport: report: u T  he U.S. Census Bureau and the Urban = 76% incomes above abovethe thenational nationalaverage. average.    76%ofofLGBT LGBTindividuals individualshave have annual annual household incomes = 30% above $100,000 $100,000    30%ofofLGBT LGBTindividuals individualshave havean an annual annual income income above • 81% of LGBT Americans are likely to consider brands that supportnon-profits non-profitsororcauses causes important them. u 8  1% of LGBT Americans are likely to consider brands that support important toto them. • 88% adults and and 70% 70% of ofheterosexuals heterosexualsare arelikely likelytotoconsider considera abrand brand that is known u 8  8%of of lesbian lesbian and and gay gay adults that is known to to provide benefits for for all allof oftheir theiremployees, employees,including includinglesbians lesbiansand and gays. provide equal equal workplace workplace benefits gays. • According to Community Marketing Inc., three out of four LGBT individuals have changed brands when u A  ccording to Community Marketing Inc., three out of four LGBT individuals have changed brands when a a company LGBT support. support. company has has exhibited exhibited pro pro LGBT • In looking at at lesbian lesbianand andgay gayadults, adults,31% 31%expect expecttheir theirhousehold’s household’s financial u Inthe the next next 66 months months just just looking financial condition condition to be better, compared with 24% of heterosexual adults. to be better, compared with 24% of heterosexual adults. • Express support for LGBT equality, including endorsement of marriage equality for lesbian and gay u E  xpress support for LGBT equality, including endorsement of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples, couples, sends a positive and unequivocal message to LGBT employees and customers and makes an sends a positive and unequivocal message to LGBT employees and customers and makes an important important statement on diversity and inclusion. statement on diversity and inclusion.

10 |



| 11

Political Leaders Supporting MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City (Independent) Cory Booker Mayor of Newark (Democrat) Bill Clinton

Barack Obama President of the United States (Democrat)

former President of the United States (Democrat)

Michael Bloomberg Dick Mayor Cheney of New York City (Independent) former Vice President of

Maureen Walsh Washington State Representative (Republican)

the United States (Republican) Bill Clinton former President of the United States (Democrat) Rahm Emanuel Mayor of Chicago (Democrat)

Pat Quinn Governor of Illinois (Democrat)

Dick Cheney former Vice Maureen Walsh President of the Washington United States State (Republican) Representative

(Republican) 12 |


ILLINOIS BUSINESS SUPPORTING MARRIAGE EQUALITY • AON Corporation • Curt Bailey, President, Related Midwest •A  ndrew Bluhm, Founder and Principal, Delaware Street Capital • Neil G. Bluhm, Founder and Managing Principal, Walton Street Capital • Leslie Bluhm, LAMB Partners •M  eredith Bluhm-Wolf •N  orm Bobins, Former CEO, LaSalle Bank; Chairman, PrivateBank and Trust Co. • Bill Brandt, President and CEO, Development Specialists, Inc. •C  arole Brown, Senior Managing Director, Barclays Capital •L  ewis B. Campbell, Chairman and CEO, Navistar International • Chicago Urban League • Lance Chody, CEO, Garrett Popcorn Shops • Philip B. Clement, Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Aon plc •H  on. William M. Daley • Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group • Fred Eychaner, Chairman, Newsweb Corporation • Paul S. Fisher, President and CEO, CenterPoint Properties • Leslie Fox • Michael E. Fox, Fox, Sweibel, Levin and Carroll LLP • Albert M. Friedman, CEO and President, Friedman Properties, Ltd. • Google Inc. • Peter Gottlieb, President, North Star Investment Management Corporation • Groupon • William J. Griffin, Senior Vice President, Hill & Knowlton • David A. Helfand, CEO, Helix Funds • Carrie Hightman, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, NiSource Inc. • Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments, LLC

• Fred Hoch, CEO, Illinois Technology Association • Mark S. Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation • Kym Hubbard, CIO and Treasurer, Ernst & Young • Ron Huberman, Executive Chair, TransitPro Logistics, Inc. • Illinois Science & Technology Coalition • Knight Engineers & Architects • William Lawless, President, The Gage & Henri Restaurants • Susan Leonis, President, The Leonis Group • Joseph Mansueto, Founder and CEO, Morningstar Inc. • Matt Moog, Founder and Chairman, Built In Chicago • Maura O’Hara, Executive Director, IVCA • Orbitz Worldwide Inc. • Sarah Pang, Senior Vice President, Corporate • Richard S. Price, Chairman and CEO, Mesirow Financial • Quintin E. Primo III, Chairman and CEO, Capri Capital Partners, LLC • Gigi Pritzker, Principal, Add Lot Entertainment • J.B. Pritzker, Co-Founder and Co-Lead, The Pritzker Group • Gigi Pritzker Pucker, OddLot Entertainment • Doug Regan, Midwest Regional Director, J.P. Morgan • Gene Reineke, President, Hawthorne Strategy Group • Judith C. Rice, Senior Vice President, BMO Harris Bank • Laura Ricketts, Director, Chicago Cubs, Chairman of the Board, Chicago Cubs Charities • Desiree Rogers, CEO, Johnson Publishing Company • John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments, LLC • John W. Rowe, Chairman Emeritus, Exelon Corporation • Michael Sacks, CEO, Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P. • Harrison I. Steans, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Financial Investments Corp. Communications and Public Affairs, CNA Financial Corp. • William E. Wolf, Principal, BW Capital Partners • Skip Schrayer, CEO, Associated Agencies Inc. • William P. Zanetis, CEO, Wisco Hotel Group

*Individuals listed as signatories represent themselves only.


| 13

AN OPEN LETTER FROM ILLINOIS BUSINESS LEADERS ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY Many factors goresources into creating a state’sour business environment. Perhaps most important is aWe state’s Illinois is rich in that position state for great success in the twenty-first century. are aability hub to of attract financetop and industry, renowned educational, research, and cultural and institutions. talent from home aroundtothe world. Since human capital drives innovation growth, As major employers, know that the single best want assetto Illinois a state must foster anwe environment where people live. offers is its ability to attract the best talent from around the world. This is crucial, because size, quality and diversity of the talent pool are thecompetitive, first criteria for business determining where to locate jobs. To be a state mustincreate an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all of its citizens. For this reason – among others — it is vitally important that Illinois lawmakers enact marriage To remain competitive, Illinois must continue to contend with other American states, as well as other equality soon. countries around the world to attract top talent. Increasingly, in an age where talent determines the economic winners, great states and cities must demonstrate a commitment to creating an open, Marriageand equality would strengthenin the workforces ofwork. Illinois employers, who know there is no healthy, equitable environment which to live and substitute for employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Companies must understand a changing and be to connect with theirtocustomers; havingby a diverse That is why marketplace it is so important thatable Illinois grant full rights all of its citizens passing workforce marriage is a part of that. That’s one reason many employers have adopted non-discrimination policies and equality legislation. As dozens of other states and nations have extended marriage rights to loving, offer domestic benefits. committed gaypartner and lesbian couples, it will become increasingly difficult for Illinois to recruit the very best talent if it cannot offer the same respect and protections to families in committed relationships. Marriage equality promotes economic development, too. According to the UCLA School of Law’s Many of Institute, us on thisallowing list havesame-sex adoptedcouples non-discrimination policies and between extended$39 domestic partner Williams to marry would generate million and $72 benefits long before civil unions were the law in Illinois, because it was important to attracting and million in revenues for Illinois businesses, creating $4.5 million to $8 million in new sales and lodging retaining the highest quality workers. As business leaders and proud Illinoisans, we believe that tax revenues over three years. attracting talent is key to our state’s economic future, and that fair treatment under the law is an important ingredient to a modern-day business environment. The American people are increasingly supportive of marriage equality, with a majority believing same-sex couples should beIllinois allowed to marry. We agree with them. States with the metro areas of Therefore, we strongly urge General Assembly to enact marriage equality legislation to help New Yorkour City, Seattle, Boston, and Baltimore have legalized marriage Here in our the maintain competitive advantage in attracting thealready best and brightest peopleequality. and to reaffirm Midwest, Iowatohas granted full and marriage equality, while Minnesota is poised to do the same later this commitment both freedom fairness. year. Illinois simply cannot afford to be less competitive than other states. The Illinois legislature should act now. It’s the right thing for Illinois. To join the long list of signatories of this open letter, to endorse the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, or to discuss marriage equality further please contact Caroline Steark at Equality Illinois. Equality Illinois 3318 North Halsted Street Chicago, Illinois 60657 773-477-7173

Š 2012 Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois is the state’s oldest and largest organization securing, defending, and protecting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 3712 N Broadway #125 Chicago IL 60613 773.477.7173

Business Case for Marriage Equality  

By Equality Illinois Updated Jan. 15, 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you