Thomson Reuters is the latest company to announce that it's opposing Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
In an e-mail to employees, the highest two ranking executives headquartered in Minnesota (Mike Suchsland, President of Thomson Reuters Legal, and Rick King, COO, Technology) wrote that the amendment would hurt their ability to attract employees to work in Minnesota. Thompson Reuters is headquartered in New York and Westlaw, formerly West Publishing, is a subsidiary in Eagan.
"We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent," the e-mail said. "For this reason, we do not believe that the Amendment would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state."
Thomson Reuters has 7,900 employees in Minnesota. In the e-mail, company officials also noted that the company's position is a "business decision" and that "as a news organization, Thomson Reuters is dedicated to upholding our Trust Principles and does not advocate political or religious positions."
The company's announcement comes just weeks after General Mills announced that it would oppose the amendment. It has also sparked a debate over whether the amendment would hurt or help the state's business climate.
"Today's historic announcement by Thomson Reuters shows that, more and more, companies in Minnesota are standing up and saying that this hurtful amendment is not in the best interests of businesses, families or the state of Minnesota," Richard Carlbom, executive director of Minnesotans United for All Families, said in a statement.
Minnesota for Marriage, the group campaigning to pass the amendment, has also been working to counter the argument that the amendment would hurt Minnesota's business climate. The group issued a press release yesterday noting that nine of the ten business friendly states in a recent CNBC study of America's Top State for Doing Business, have amendments in the constitution that ban same-sex marriage.
"The claim that the passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment will hurt Minnesota's economy is a complete myth," said John Helmberger, Chairman of Minnesota for Marriage. "If anything, the opposite is true. The CNBC study is yet another in a string of studies that consistently show states with a marriage protection amendment in their constitution are among our top performing economic states."
The campaign over whether to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between "one man and one woman" is expected to be fierce. The constitution will be amended if a majority of those voting in November's election vote yes on the ballot question.
Here's the e-mail from Thomson Reuters officials:
From Mike Suchsland and Rick King: Responding to questions on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment
We're writing today to respond to questions we have received from employees about an important issue that we are facing in Minnesota.
Some of you have asked if Thomson Reuters has a point of view on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, which voters will decide on this November. As you probably know, the question Minnesotans will vote on is whether our state constitution should be amended to limit marriage
to one man and one woman.
As we've heard from employees, recruiters and customers, one thing has been very clear: we're a better place when we have a rich variety of perspectives, talents, backgrounds, lifestyles and experiences in our workplace, and within the broader community from which we recruit. We
believe that building a culture that thrives on diversity and inclusion and provides equal opportunities to everyone is a critical factor in our ability to serve our customers and be successful.
We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent. For this reason, we do not believe that the Amendment would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state. It's important to note that as a news organization, Thomson Reuters is dedicated to upholding our Trust Principles and does not advocate political or religious positions. Rather, our perspective on the Amendment is a business position.
Our view on the Amendment is also in keeping with our company's long-standing history of supporting diversity initiatives and promoting social justice in our local and global communities. Thomson
Reuters does these things because they support our core values and, in the end, we believe they are good for business.
We know that there are varying points of view on the Amendment and we encourage each of you to express your individual opinion at the polls. Thomson Reuters is a business that values open dialogue, and we know that this communication may generate some discussion. It's an issue that is full of emotion for many, so please remember to honor our tradition of treating all people fairly and with respect - whether your conversations are in person or online. We know you will.
All the best,
Tom, while we're on the anti-gay-marriage amendment, did you ever retract that unsupported and apparently phony "Facebook hack" story that anti-gay-marriage Republican operators Parrish and Osskopp put you up to back on 6/27?
You printed that story without confirmation or even any apparent evidence. Isn't it time to do a retraction of equal impact?
Thank you, Thomson Reuters, for supporting commitment and marriage between two people.
Same sex marriage is already illegal. The Amendment will stop some from issuing a judicial edict.
Mike Suchsland and Rick King had some kind of motivation behind their rhetoric. Logic was not one of them. If they want to see our cultural foundations overturned and destroyed, they should just come out and say it.
It is interesting to me that people who agree with the ban seem to think that if two people of the same gender marry each other it would "overturn our cultural foundations". Which cultural foundation would that be? Freedom, I would think that would be pro gay marriage. Restricting who can and can not get married would be restricting freedom. Ok, so then lets look at an importance in family. There are so many Queer and Gay families who have raised happy and successful children. It seems to me the issue is actually about gender norms. Can two men really raise a child alone? Can two woman? Who plays what role? These are the questions i hear, and that folks is about gender not who a person loves. All I have to say is that we need to be treating people as equals. No matter age, gender, creed, orientation, or any other descriptive. If some individuals have a fundamental right, then all humans should have that right. Since when have the states put up a civil rights issue onto a ballet for the population to vote on. Wake up people, it's not just the gays that can be effected. Civil rights are being striped away in other areas too. It is a very slippery slope and when one group of people get oppressed, history will show time and time again so do other groups until it effects us all.