When working on these various civil liberties issues, it’s always good to have the business community on our side.
The latest indicator of the gay community’s growing economic clout came Thursday in a report that found more than half of the nation’s largest corporations now extend health insurance to employees’ same-sex domestic partners.
The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that the number of Fortune 500 companies offering this benefit had doubled in six years, even as voters and lawmakers in 45 states registered their opposition to gay marriage.
Moreover, the report found that large firms had more readily granted benefits to their workers’ same-sex partners than had state and local governments. More than 250 companies are offering that benefit this year.
“They are light-years ahead because corporate leaders are making these decisions purely on a business model,” said Joe Solmonese, the foundation’s president. “Looking at the buying power of the lesbian and gay communities and the need to attract a diverse and talented workforce, they’ve concluded that a fair and inclusive workforce serves them best.”
I put that last part in bold because it is especially appropriate for Pennsylvania. I was born here and have lived in the state for 26 of my 33 years. Some of my co-workers moved here from out-of-state. But we are the exception, rather than the rule. PA is dealing with the phenomenon of “brain drain.” Our most talented native young people are leaving the state. PA is the second-oldest state in the country.
Short-sighted political hacks don’t understand that when they are hostile to gays and immigrants, they further depress the state by making it an unattractive place for people to live. If they continue with this hostility, Pennsylvania will continue to whither on the vine.
Andy in the HBG