The Human Rights Campaign’s Mission Statement: "By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all." We, the LGBTQ people and allies who HRC purports to represent, believe the selection of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the first “national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage” and recipient of the HRC Workplace for Equality Innovation Award is not in line with this mission, nor in the best interest of HRC’s constituency and our community’s supporters.
A few facts about Mr. Blankfein and Goldman:
1. Mr. Blankfein admitted to stealing money, lots of money, from Goldman Sachs customers.
2. Workers in many states are currently suing Goldman Sachs for stealing their pensions.
3. A U.S. Senate subcommittee has recommended perjury charges be filed against Mr. Blankfein himself.
4. The same subcommittee laid “much of the blame” for the financial crisis on Goldman Sachs and other firms that sold securities.
4. In 2007, the worst year of the financial crisis, Mr. Blankfein took home $53 million in compensation.
HRC’s decision to elevate Mr. Balnkfein to the stature of “true advocate for equality and fairness” ignores his record and self-admitted crimes against humanity. While HRC may be out of touch and unconcerned with the financial crisis, its constituents and supporters are all too familiar, enduring daily the tremendous consequences of his leadership. A strong sense of integrity and justice must rise above a single issue, and empower us to do better and be better. Elevating this man to absolve him of his past is neither just nor right. A marriage equality victory must be the result of justice, not ignoring injustice.
As constituents and LGBTQ supporters, we ask HRC to stand with us, to stand against the exploitation of the less fortunate, and stand for those suffering at the hands of criminals. We urge HRC to make decisions that support their mission statement of “equality and fairness for all.” Officially, we sincerely request that HRC rescind their Workplace for Equality Innovation Award and revoke Mr. Balnkfein’s title as “national spokesperson for same-sex marriage.”
Dear Human Rights Campaign President Solomonese, Vice President Sainz, and Director Cole-Schwartz,
Your organizational mission states, "By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.” We believe that appointing Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the first “national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage” was a decision made in disregard for your mission, your constituency and community supporters.
As CEO of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Blankfein oversaw and benefited from reprehensible business practices, stealing homes and pensions from millions of Americans while leveraging the loss to line his coffers with billions of dollars. Goldman Sachs, and in some cases Mr. Blankfein personally, are facing countless lawsuits in nearly every state and several countries for their role in the 2008 crash of the American economy. Choosing Mr. Blankfein as a spokesperson for marriage equality sends a message that LGBTQ people are out of touch and unconcerned with the financial crisis, that we do not care about and are not among the millions who lost their homes and pensions, that we have not felt the heartbreak perpetrated by Wall Street.
As your research shows, we are not a wealthy community; but we are longing for the day when our employment will be protected by Federal law, when our families can be safe at home and in school, when our binational couples are protected from deportation and we can safely walk hand in hand with our same-sex spouse.
Your decision to award Mr. Blankfein suggests that we, as a community, care only about LGBTQ-specific issues and are willing to disregard the inequities and suffering of others. To be clear, we do not believe that the means for gaining marriage equality justify absolving this criminal of his crimes. We refuse to lend our endorsement to a man who continues to profit off the suffering of our country.
On the day we declare victory in the fight for marriage, it must be a victory for equality made possible by standing against injustice and standing with our brothers and sisters who, throughout history, fought for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Victory bought with the suffering of many, is not victory.
As your supporters and allies, and in the spirit of “fundamental fairness and equality for all” we ask that you rescind Mr. Blankfein’s award and his role as “national spokesperson for same-sex marriage.”