London Pride March 2019
Following the company’s lackluster response to Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney has signed an open letter supporting the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. The House of Representatives recently passed the bill, which would codify certain LGBTQ+ marriage rights into law, and now the letter’s signatories are urging the Senate to do the same.
“Americans from all walks of life, across demographics, geographies, and party lines agree that loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and protected under the law,” the letter reads. “As many of us highlighted in our support for Marriage Equality in 2015, a patchwork of inconsistent and discriminatory state marriage laws goes against our company values and makes it harder for us to do business and to recruit and retain top talent.”
“Codifying a consistent and inclusive federal standard conferred by the Loving, Windsor, and Obergefell rulings will help to ensure marriage equality, eliminate confusion for employers and enable us to retain and attract talent,” it continues. “No person, including same-sex couples and interracial couples protected by this bill, should fear their marriage will not be recognized by the federal government or their employment benefits threatened.”
“Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves,” the letter states. And, lest we forget what’s most important, “Inclusive business practices improve our bottom lines and lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.” Capitalism itself is at stake!
The Human Rights Campaign (which publicly rejected a major Disney donation amidst the “Don’t Say Gay” backlash) organized the open letter. Beyond Disney, more than a hundred other companies have signed, including Sony, Comcast NBCUniversal, Apple, Google, and more. Per Variety, the letter will be delivered to every senator in the country; the bill requires 60 votes in favor to overcome a filibuster.