At least it won’t be too difficult for the National Organization for Marriage, the American Family Association, One Million Moms and other anti-gay hate groups to boycott the latest business to come out in opposition to the Minnesota marriage equality ban. The media conglomerate Thomson Reuters has come out and stated that bans on same-sex marriage are harmful to business, and named Minnesota’s ban specifically.
Thomson Reuters is a media conglomerate composed of The Thomson Corporation and Reuters Group. Thomson Corp largely deals with information concerning business, healthcare, financial, law, taxes, and science and technology. Reuters Group is more well known to people as they are familiar with Reuters News, one of the three big news providers in the world.
Thomson Reuters stated that it does not believe that the amendment “would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state.” According to Thomson Reuters spokesman John Shaughnessy, the corporation, which is headquartered in New York City, has nearly 8,000 employees in Minnesota, specifically in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Shaughnessy stated “We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent.” Thomson Reuters is just the latest to express that problem when it comes to anti-marriage equality amendments.
In an email that went out to employees, several executives explained that the position of the company had nothing to do with religion or politics, but “Rather, our perspective on the Amendment is a business position.”
The Huffington Post noted that:
Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University and expert on media ethics, said he saw no problem with the larger company taking a position on a controversial social issue.
“If they’d come out and said, we’re against this amendment and that’s the way we’re going to edit the news – that would be different,” Rosen said. “But that’s not what they said.”
Many news outlets are owned by larger conglomerates that lobby on various political issues, Rosen said. The company, known at the time as Thomson, acquired Minnesota’s West Publishing – a leading U.S. provider of legal information – in 1996. It acquired Reuters, including its news service, in 2008.
Minnesotans United for All Families hailed the announcement stating “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.”
Of course, the anti-gay groups are not happy. Chuck Darrell, the spokesman for the anti-gay group Minnesota for Marriage, stated “The claim that it will hurt the Minnesota economy is a complete myth.”
Ironically, among the states that have seen a fast recovery from the Great Recession have been states like Vermont where same-sex marriage is legal.