By Anna Peirano
The CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, became the first financial titan to campaign for gay marriage. Blankfein has joined the Americans for Marriage Equality in support.
Blankfein’s 30-second spot was released on YouTube Sunday. Within hours of the Human Rights Campaign asking him to do the video, he agreed. Blankfein asks viewers to join a “majority of Americans who support marriage equality” and says, “America’s corporations learned long ago that equality is just good business and it’s the right thing to do.”
Blankfein also signed an open letter calling on NY lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Americans for Marriage Equality campaign was launched in October of 2011. Blankfein is the 12th video in the campaign so far, and joins allies such as actors Mo’Nique, Julian Bond, and John Leguizamo; sports figures like NFL Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita; and politicians Senator Al Franken and Governor Chris Gregoire.
With this latest effort, the HRC is directly targeting advocates whose support of equality might come as a surprise. “Our campaign is all about recruiting unexpected spokespeople so Americans can connect the dots and realize that on an issue like this there can be agreement,” said HRC spokesman Fred Sainz. “Lloyd Blankfein is not someone average Americans would think is going to support marriage equality. The green visor crowd is not typically associated with socially progressive policies, and this is further proof that a diversity of Americans are coming to the same conclusion.”
Blankfein has served as CEO of the huge investment bank firm since 2006. Under his direction, Goldman Sachs has put a number of policies into place in support of equality. The company reimburses employees for extra taxes paid on domestic partner benefits, and in 2002, the company began covering gender reassignment surgery on employees’ insurance.