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General Mills comes out against Minnesota marriage equality ban

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

General Mills, the Fortune 500 company behind such well-known brands as Yoplait, Pillsbury, Cheerios and Betty Crocker, has announced its opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would ban marriage equality in the state.  General Mills’s headquarters is located in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb.  In response, Minnesotans United for All Families, the pro-marriage equality group seeking to defeat a marriage ban on the November ballot in the state, has launched a petition on its website for supporters to thank the company.

This isn’t General Mills’s first stand on LGBT issues: yesterday, Ken Charles, the company’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, testified before the Senate HELP Committee regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would make employment discrimination based on gender and sexuality-based orientation illegal.

We’re seeing more and more corporations step forward and support marriage equality, from Microsoft and Nike in Washington to Apple and Google in California.  On the surface, this is great news for the movement because people trust brands like Starbucks and Apple, and they are likely to take a good look at the social policies of those companies and consider why they are taking such a stand.  But even more importantly, it ties into a larger argument that can and should be made more clearly for marriage equality.

Equal marriage rights for all couples is not just the right and fair thing to do under law because it protects individuals and their relationships.  They’re also important to our society as a whole, and they promote the economic and social well-being of the broader community of both LGBT and straight Americans.  Companies that work in states with equal marriage rights can attract the best talent without being forced to discriminate against their employees or pay out of pocket to treat those employees equally if the state does not.  This is a bigger argument about how marriage equality is good for the private sector and helps all Americans, not just LGBT Americans, and it’s something that we should repeat over and over until it gains more traction.


  • 1. Mike  |  June 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

    "Ban Gay Marriage" "Ban Marriage Equality" that is so UN-American and so sad.

  • 2. JoeRH  |  June 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Does anyone know if any of those companies that threatened to leave states if they passed anti-equality measures actually leave? Or have seriously plans to leave? I hope that wasn't just talk.

  • 3. Seth from Maryland  |  June 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Uruguay is expected to debate legislation which would legalize gay marriage before the end of the year.

    Paul Maqueira of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) told El Pais that an initial draft of the measure had already been prepared.

    “The idea is to promote a marriage equality project so that gay couples have equal access to marriage as heterosexuals,” he said.

    Maqueira declined to say when the proposal might reach lawmakers but said he felt this would happen “before the end of the year.”

  • 4. Bob  |  June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

    yeah Uruguay,,,,, "he felt this would happen before the end of the year,,, wow

    is anyone counting how many countries get marriage equality,,, during the time the U.S. is fighting for it,,, (I think so far Denmark is the champ for a quick and thorough acceptance)

  • 5. Gregory in SLC  |  June 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Another Lawsuit! Ha!

    Same-sex couples' lawsuit challenges North Carolina adoption law

  • 6. jwca  |  June 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

    This is great. I work with a bunch of people at General Mills and they are all amazingly nice, thoughtful, and smart.

  • 7. Bruce Stores  |  June 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Betty Crocker is a woman I've long admired. So glad she has taken a public stance for equality.

  • 8. Ann_S  |  June 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I actually won the Betty Crocker award in high school, which was pretty hilarious. It didn't involve cooking, it was a multiple choice test, and I've always been good at those. Good ol' Betty . . .

  • 9. coolbanker  |  June 14, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I wonder how long it will be before One Million Moms boycotts General Mills. Keep it up, Corporate America. One day those so-called moms will have no where to shop, or no items to buy.

  • 10. Ann_S  |  June 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Then the One Million Moms will have to go all survivalist on us and grow and can all their own food. It will be the end of corporate America!

    Oh, wait . . .

  • 11. General Mills comes out a&hellip  |  June 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

    […] General Mills comes out against Minnesota marriage equality ban ShareTwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  • 12. goldentriangleglbt  |  June 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I am putting Cherrios and Wheaties on my shopping list right now!

  • 13. Carpool Cookie  |  June 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Add Pop-and-Fresh rolls to the list. Good with butter and honey, and no cleanup.

  • 14. Carpool Cookie  |  June 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I get kind of nostalgic thinking of the Pilsbury Doughboy. Those crescent rolls that came in a tube were my sister's and my idea of cooking, when we were little. You unrolled the sticky dough, separated the perforated pieces WITHOUT STRETCHING THEM OUT OF SHAPE, rolled them up on a cookie sheet and tweaked them into a curved shape. Very gourmet for an 8-year-old in Northern California, especially if you brushed them with egg white, as recommended on the box!

  • 15. NancyH  |  June 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I do not understand why conservatives even considered crafting this bill. If it passes, nothing changes. If it fails, nothing changes and that will be another argument for Marriage Equality.

    If anything, this ban just shows how arrogant the bigots are.

  • 16. DaveP  |  June 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    …. I just got home from the Commonwealth Club where I heard a really good talk about the history and current status of marriage equality, presented by John and Stuart (the guys in the tuxedos & blue bow ties jumping for joy at the entrance to SF City Hall, seen occasionally at the top of this page). It was very well done. They told their own personal story as it wove through all of the events in California's marriage equality movement over the past decade (they've been together much longer than that, and will soon be celebrating their 25th anniversary – congrats, guys!). I also got to meet Ann again (hi Ann!) and even met the rest of the family.

    And to top off the evening, I stopped in the grocery store on my way back to the car and picked up a few boxes of various General Mills cereals : )

  • 17. Ann_S  |  June 15, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Hi Dave! It was great to see you again! Hooray for General Mills!

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