Things that make you go hmmmmmmm…
The tension between the social conservatives and the business interests that comprise the modern Republican Party was on display Wednesday as an Indiana Senate committee debated whether to add the state’s existing ban on gay marriage to the Indiana Constitution.
…Jill Cook, vice president of human resources for Cummins Inc., said her company, which employs 5,500 workers at its Columbus, Ind., headquarters, would think twice about expanding if the amendment is approved.
“This resolution sends a powerful message that Indiana is not a place that welcomes people of all backgrounds, and it jeopardizes our ability to attract employees,” Cook said.
We’ve heard the argument time and again that states would lose business opportunities if they don’t start recognizing counterfeit marriages immediately. Usually, though, it is some representative from an activist organization like The Williams Institute making this claim. This time though, we’ve got an HR rep from a major corporation testifying publicly that a state marriage protection amendment (no, this is not a “ban on [same-sex] marriage”) would cause the corporation to look elsewhere to expand.
One pretty obvious problem with that.
A 2010 news release at Cummins.com: Cummins chooses Nashville for consolidated customer care center
Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) has signed a lease with SmartSpace, LLC to open a consolidated customer care center in Nashville by the end of 2010. The center, which is projected to bring more than 200 new jobs to the metropolitan area, will be located at Two Rivers Corporate Centre, on McGavock Pike, just north of the Opryland Hotel.
Cummins employees from existing centers in Memphis and Cookeville, Tenn. and from Columbus, Ind. will be relocating to Nashville to kick off the operation, with additional team members being hired from Nashville as the new center grows.
That was in addition to the 2,000 employees Cummins already had in Tennessee.
So what’s the problem?
The state of Tennessee passed a marriage protection amendment in 2006 in a “real squeaker” — 81% of Volunteer State voters affirmed marriage by providing this most vital human institution constitutional-grade protection.
Tennessees’s marriage protection amendment reads:
The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman, is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee . If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.
Tennessee’s marriage amendment carries some of the most powerful language protecting marriage of all the 30 states that have passed amendments (by an average vote of about 68%, BTW). More powerful than that being considered in Indiana.
So why now would Cummins, which boasts of its “top rating” by the radical Human Rights Campaign, publicly gnash its teeth over a proposed marriage amendment in one state after just months ago heralding their expansion into a state that already had a powerful amendment in place?
Maybe because in reality Cummins knows it’s not bad for business to set up shop in states that still understand the value of marriage…but it DOES have its HRC overlords to publicly appease.