General Mills Comes Out Against Minnesota Gay Marriage Ban

 

Food giant General Mills has come out against Minnesota’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage that will go before voters in November.

Reports On Top Magazine:

In an e-mailed statement provided to On Top Magazine, Tom Forsythe, vice president of corporate communications, said the amendment would hurt Minnesota’s economy.

“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. We oppose the proposed constitutional amendment because we do not believe it is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy,” he said.

Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, spoke out against the amendment at a reception on Wednesday night, a company spokesperson said.

Minnesota already has a statutory ban on marriage equality but religious conservatives want to enshrine the ban in the state’s constitution to try and prevent the courts from intervening.

The group campaigning for the ballot initiative to pass, Minnesota for Marriage, came out with the following statement in response to General Mills’ opposition:

“Marriage is in the interest of children, because it is society’s best way to help children experience the ideal environment where they are raised by their mother and father. It’s ironic and regrettable that a corporation that makes billions marketing cereal to parents of children would take the position that marriage should be redefined.”

A recent poll as part of an ongoing series conducted by Public Policy Polling, showed that 49% of Minnesota voters said they didn’t think the ban should be codified, with only 43% said they favored the move. This was a marked change since the last poll in January when 48% of respondents said they favored the move.

It is unclear what has prompted this shift, but there are several possibilities.

The controversy over North Carolina’s Amendment 1 campaign, that placed in the state’s constitution not just a ban on same-sex marriage but all marriage-like partnerships, and therein risked harming domestic violence protections and health insurance provisions, may have soured some Minnesotans against the move even though the state’s proposed ban is, in comparison, less egregious.

Also, since January, President Obama has publicly declared his support for marriage equality. This support is known to have had an impact on African American voters who have polled with a recognizable, if modest, increase in support for marriage equality. Indeed, even before this President Obama called the Minnesota amendment “divisive” and “discriminatory.

Of course, as was the case in North Carolina, polls prior to voting day are not often truly representative when it comes to the question of gay marriage rights, or broader LGBT rights efforts for that matter.

While General Mills’ advocacy has been welcomed by LGBT rights groups, the company has faced wider criticism in recent years for its use of palm oil, its proclivity for deforestation, and what some have called irresponsible advertising aimed at children.

 

Related Reading:

10 Companies That Are Part of Your Life (Know It Or Not)

Fruit Roll Ups Still Not a Health Food

MN Archbishop Politicizes Prayer To Fight Gay Marriage

 

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution license with thanks to General Mills.

31 comments

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin3 years ago

“Marriage is in the interest of children, because it is society’s best way to help children experience the ideal environment where they are raised by their mother and father. It’s ironic and regrettable that a corporation that makes billions marketing cereal to parents of children would take the position that marriage should be redefined.”

When will these anti-marrige-for all-consenting-adults get it that some of those children live with gay parents and some of those children they want to protect are also gay? They do not get it, even if you used a sledge hammer to get the point through: A large number of children live with one or two gay parents. Some children even have two mothers and two fathers. It seems almost as impossible for them to grasp that a large number of children are gay and it will help them when they see large corporations (as in this case) and others in society, be positive towards the LGBT community.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley3 years ago

Good to see.

John B.
John B.3 years ago

Because of their stance on the other issues that were stated in the article, I don't purchase General Mills products and have communicated to them the reasons why. However on this issue. I will contact them and thank them for their stance on this one. Thank you Steve for the article.

A Marina Fournier

Thank you, General Mills!

Geynell Eskite
Geynell Eskite3 years ago

A corporation standing up for justice? Against their Republican Overlords and Sugar-daddies? Applause, Applause, Applause. Well done.

Jeannie N.
Jeannie N.3 years ago

Way to go General Mills :)

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams3 years ago

Great!

Jen Matheson
Past Member 3 years ago

Even if General Mills is just doing this for publicity, it's a good movE!

Evelyn Ball
Evelyn Ball3 years ago

People should butt out of other people's lives. Who cares who marries who? Children can be raised by two men or two women, nothing wrong with that. Too bad these people who are so opposed wouldn't get so worked up about the more important issues facing our planet like destruction of an ecosystem and wildlife just for palm oil?????????????

Beth M.
Beth M.3 years ago

Thank you, General Mills!