My husband was informed at work on Friday that his company had just issued this statement:
August 3, 2012 – Minneapolis, MN – Capella University, a private online university headquartered in Minneapolis, announced today that it stands united in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for committed, same-sex couples in our state. Capella is the first major higher education institution to speak out against the amendment and joins Thomson Reuters and Fortune 500 companies General Mills and St. Jude Medical in opposing this freedom-limiting marriage amendment.
Capella University employs more than 1,250 administrative staff at its Minneapolis headquarters and more than 1,600 faculty members throughout the country. It is owned by the publicly traded Capella Education Company.
Minnesotans United for All Families – the official campaign to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry in Minnesota – released the following statement:
“Today Capella University demonstrated its leadership among educational institutions. The decision to publicly oppose this amendment shows that more and more, companies in Minnesota are speaking out against this hurtful measure because it is not in the best interests of businesses, families or Minnesota. An institution such as Capella depends upon its ability to attract and retain top talent from across the country, as well as to attract top-notch students. This amendment severely and negatively impacts the ability of our state to remain a thriving and competitive place to live and do business. We’re proud to stand with Capella University, Thomson Reuters, General Mills, St. Jude Medical, nearly 200 businesses throughout Minnesota, as well as prominent business leaders like Wheelock Whitney, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, John Taft, Tom Horner and Charlie Zelle that have said no to this proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for committed, same-sex couples in this state.”
In an email sent to Minnesotans United for All Families Campaign Manager Richard Carlbom this morning, Capella Education Company Chairman and CEO Kevin Gilligan said, “I am writing today to express my opposition to the amendment to Minnesota’s constitution which would define marriage as between one man and one woman. I believe that this constitutional amendment is not in the best interests of Minnesota or Capella Education Company. Capella is a stronger place because of our diversity, and we have made an intentional effort to create a workplace that is supportive of families of all backgrounds. Just as importantly, I am very concerned that this amendment will have a negative impact on the ability of Minnesota companies to attract and retain talented employees. I do not believe this amendment is aligned with Capella’s values or our business interests.”
There are major problems with how much political influence companies wield. There are reasons that most of the educational institutions in the state are not in a position to rebuke the Republican majority in our legislature that pushed this question onto the ballot.
Still, it is always nice to know that the company one works for is using its disproportionate power for good instead of evil.