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NEW: RI Business Leaders Pledge Support for Same-Sex Marriage

Thursday, February 21, 2013


So far, 60 of Rhode Island's business leaders have jumped on board to publicly support same-sex marriage in the Ocean State.

At a time when many are wondering when the Senate Judiciary Committee might take up the issue of same-sex marriage—not much has been done since the historic vote by the House last month—Rhode Island’s business leaders are pledging their support for the controversial social issue, with 60 of the state’s biggest movers and shakers signing an online petition to “support marriage equality.”

Saying the ability to “attract and retain top talent from around the world” is critical to creating a competitive business environment, CEOs, Presidents and owners of some of the Ocean State’s top companies have a group called Rhode Island Business Leaders for Marriage Equality.

The individuals have signed an online pledge stating that “Allowing all loving, committed couples in Rhode Island to obtain a civil marriage license would strengthen the workforce for Rhode Island employers.”

“Legalizing same-sex marriage would increase revenue in the state while also generating much-needed business for companies in the tourism and hospitality industries,” the pledge continues. “I support marriage equality because every employee or potential employee will be treated fairly, it helps increase our competitive business environment and it is good for Rhode Island's economy.”

So far, some of the most influential names on the list include

Alan Hassenfeld, the former CEO of Pawtucket-based Hasbro and current CEO of Sproutel, Angus Davis, the CEO of Swipely, which was recently named one of the Most Promising Companies in America by Forbes Magazine and Howard Sutton, publisher, president and CEO of the Providence Journal.

To see a full list of those who have signed the petition, click here.


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