Cummins’ long term success in a highly competitive global economy depends on attracting the best and brightest employees.
That’s one key reason the Company spoke out Monday against HJR-3 (formerly HJR-6), a proposed amendment to the state of Indiana’s constitution that would ban gay marriage.
“This resolution sends a negative message that Indiana is not a place that welcomes people of all backgrounds and it jeopardizes our ability to be competitive in global markets,” said Marya Rose, Cummins Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, testifying before the Indiana House Judiciary Committee.
“We know from experience that the creative and innovative employees we need to meet the challenges of a 21st century economy are reluctant to move to places that do not embrace diversity,” Rose added, speaking before an overflow crowd in the Indiana House Chambers.
The full Indiana House and Senate must approve the amendment before the measure can be put on the ballot this November for a public vote. Representatives from Eli Lilly and Indiana University also testified against the amendment.
Cummins did not enter this highly-charged debate without a lot of careful consideration. Company leaders recognize there are people with strong feelings on both sides of the amendment.
But given the potential for a long and extremely divisive debate that could potentially affect Cummins’ ability to attract the most talented employees, leaders felt the Company must act. Failing to speak out would not be consistent with Cummins corporate values of integrity and diversity.
“Cummins believes that inequality based on marital status sends a message of intolerance that has no place in a state that professes to treat all citizens with dignity,” Rose said. “It runs counter to our core values, which call for respecting the rights of all.”
This is not the first time the Company has spoken out on this issue. In 2007 and 2011, Cummins leaders testified against proposed Indiana gay marriage bans.
The Company also lobbied in 2012 against a proposed gay marriage ban that was ultimately defeated in Minnesota. And Cummins joined more than 250 other companies as a signatory to a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court last year opposing California’s Proposition 8 prohibiting same sex couples from marrying. The court declined to enter the California case, effectively clearing the way for same sex marriages to resume.
Cummins has a long history of standing up for what it believes is right. Company leaders championed civil rights in the 1960s, took a stand against apartheid in the 1980s, and in 2000 began offering domestic partner benefits to employees.
“We urge you to vote no to this proposed constitutional amendment because it discriminates against our colleagues, families, friends and neighbors,” Rose told lawmakers, “and will cause irreparable harm to our business climate and the reputation of our state and all Hoosiers.”
I agree with this stance. I am not gay, I try to be open to this concept though. I have many friends that are gay and are very talented and caring people.
I want Cummins to be successful. I have the motor in my truck and hope someday they develop a motor I can put into a jeep. Go find the people you need, because I want your products.
Congrats to you Cummins.. Thank you for stepping up..
Do you want to write something?