General Mills CEO's Opposition to Minn. Marriage Amendment Called 'Dumb PR Stunt'
By Michael Gryboski
Sat, Jun. 23 2012 01:44 PM MST
General Mills CEO Ken Powell declared his opposition last week to the
amendment that if approved by voters would be added to the constitution
of the state where his company is headquartered. In response, Jonathan
Baker, director of the Corporate Fairness Project at the National
Organization for Marriage, told The Christian Post that General Mills’
position was “one of the dumbest PR stunts I have ever seen.“
proper business decision is to stay neutral so as to respect the
diverse views of your employees, customers, communities in which you
operate, and, for publicly traded companies, your shareholders,” said
Tom Forsythe, vice president for corporate communications
at General Mills, said in a statement that the company believed it was
part of its longstanding policy of inclusiveness.
“For decades General Mills has worked to create an inclusive culture for our employees. We believe it is important for Minnesota to be viewed as inclusive and welcoming as well,” said Forsythe.
oppose the proposed constitutional amendment because we do not believe
it is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy.”
Baker believes the cereal company made its decision based on personal political opinions rather than sound business principles.
“I believe that General Mills will pay the price for elevating politics over their business interests,” he commented.
Mills joins St. Jude Medical as the two companies based in Minnesota to
have taken an anti-amendment stance. Most companies have pledged
neutrality on the matter.
“In Minnesota, only General Mills and St. Jude Medical Center have publicly opposed the marriage amendment,” said Baker.
companies are dwarfed by the combined weight of corporations like 3M,
U.S. Bancorp, CHS, Xcel Energy, and Ameriprise Financial who have all
stated that they will be staying neutral in the culture war over
When asked by CP if NOM or their affiliate Minnesotans
for Marriage had any corporate support, Baker responded that his
organization is intentionally not seeking such help.
“We are not
seeking corporate support. Marriage is a matter of culture and not
something that public corporations are equipped to weigh in on,” said
“A corporation sells their product to people of all faiths,
cultures, and persuasions. They have an obligation to serve these
customers and the way to do that is not to insult their political,
religious, or cultural beliefs.”
Minnesotans are not the only
voters who come November will be mulling over marriage definition. In
Maryland and Washington state, voters will decide whether or not to keep
the states’ recently passed same-sex marriage legalization. A
referendum will take place in Maine that if successful would legalize
same-sex marriage in the state.
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Lindsay, Thu, Jul. 12 2012 05:26 AM MST
We oppose the proposed constitutional amendment because we do not believe it is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy.
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