Saturday, April 30, 2011
How Long Will Pennsylvania Hate Group Hold Back The State's Progress?
While Venango County-based hate group, the American "Family" Association of Pennsylvania, continues to pump out propaganda targeting and demonizing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ...
"Business Leaders Urge Albany to Legalize Gay Marriage in New York"
from The New York Times:
Two dozen high-profile New York business leaders plan to release an open letter on Friday urging state lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage, arguing that the measure would help companies attract and retain employees.
The letter’s release comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and gay rights advocates prepare what they say will be a major push to pass legislation this spring that would make New York the sixth state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. The letter’s signers, from the legal, financial and real estate worlds, include Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; Jerry I. Speyer, chairman of Tishman Speyer Properties; and Paul E. Singer, a prominent hedge fund executive.
“In an age where talent determines the economic winners, great states and cities must demonstrate a commitment to creating an open, healthy and equitable environment in which to live and work,” the letter reads. “As other states, cities and countries across the world extend marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation, it will become increasingly difficult to recruit the best talent if New York cannot offer the same benefits and protection.”
The letter reflects efforts by gay rights advocates to broaden their coalition after an embarrassing defeat in Albany, where a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage lost in the State Senate in 2009. This year, advocates are focusing on a few Democrats and Republicans who are thought to be open to switching their votes.
Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, said she hoped the letter would “provide an opportunity for legislators who may not have heard the voice of business to feel that they’ve got some cover to rethink their position on this issue.” Ms. Wylde helped collect signatures for the letter at the urging of Christine C. Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, who has been lobbying the Legislature to approve a bill.
In an interview, Ms. Quinn said, “I knew there was support out there, yet when you talked and did lobbying in Albany, there was no way to show that to people.”
One prominent supporter, John J. Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, said that he believed legalizing same-sex marriage would help attract more talent to New York, but that he saw the issue chiefly as one of fairness. “It’s that simple,” Mr. Mack said. “I grew up in North Carolina. I’m 66 years old. I grew up when there was segregation. It makes an impression on you.”
Some of the executives who signed the letter are well known in political circles, including Alan J. Patricof, a venture capitalist and major Democratic donor, Mr. Mack and Mr. Singer, who is active in Republican politics. Others venture more rarely into the political spotlight, including the corporate lawyer Martin Lipton.
Some of the business leaders are close to the Senate Republican caucus, which voted unanimously against the marriage bill two years ago. Mr. Speyer, for example, is an influential voice among the city’s real estate developers, whose financial support was decisive in helping Republicans take control of the Senate in the election last fall.