Goldman Sachs CEO May Lose Millions for Defending Gay Marriage
By Constable Perkins
NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein attracted notice Monday when the Human Rights Campaign posted a 30-second video on the web that features his endorsement of same-sex marriage. While many on Wall Street applauded Blankfein’s decision to appear in the popular videos, some on Capitol Hill are less enthusiastic.
In a speech delivered Monday night during the time allotted to members commonly known as the ‘One Minute Speech,’ Representative Todd Rokita implored Congress to pass legislation that would ban management of companies that received federal bailouts from speaking out on gay rights for 5 years after the money has been returned.
“I have great concerns about the proliferation of these pro-gay messages from big business that may have been funded in part with money Congress gave them to stay afloat,” declared Rokita. “I don’t want my tax dollars to be used for some sort of pro-gay stunt like this.”
Blankfein’s ad is the twelfth video in the series, which has included similar messages from actors, political leaders, and sports stars. The Human Rights Campaign launched Americans for Marriage Equality in October 2011 with Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
The appearance of Blankfein was in part attributable to an appeal from the energetic Newark mayor.
“I sat in a Goldman Sachs conference room and looked at this guy and pleaded with him to do this spot,” Booker said. “I told him point blank that if he did not do it, all the gays in his office would still think they were working for Harry Goldblatt from Sex and the City. At that point he stood up and said ‘I’ll do it. I’m a CEO of a major company and he’s a B-list actor. People should mistake him for me, not the other way around’ so we walked into Goldman’s press room and started filming.”
Goldman Sachs, which has a non-discrimination policy in place that includes protecting employees from discrimination against sexual orientation, was buoyed by $12 billion in federal funds during the early months of the Recession, a fact not lost on some of those supporting Rokita’s legislation.
“I am deeply concerned about the signals being sent from the Treasury Department and Congress regarding the ability for businesses who may receive government bail outs to have such policies in place. Sure Goldman returned its money already, but we did not bailout Blankfein so he could take a stand on gay marriage,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder from Kansas. “We bailed him out to run a company and make money.”
Photo courtesy of csmonitor.com
Posted by Constable Perkins
on Feb 7 2012. Filed under Headlines
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