Goldman Sachs joined nearly 300 other companies in filing an amicus brief challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court. According to CEO Lloyd Blankfein, supporting that brief was a matter of both civil rights and good business:
BLANKFEIN: At the end of the day, this aligns with my personal views, but I’m not using this as a platform to espouse my personal views. The only reason why most people are interested in what I have to say is because of what I represent at Goldman Sachs, and therefore I only use my platform for Goldman Sachs issues. This issue is a business issue; it’s a civil rights issue, but it’s also a business issue.
The ability for employment benefits to be shared among spouses, the ability to move people who are dependent on visas for trailing spouses — all hinges on being able to deal with families of gay people in the same way that you deal with families of straight people. Otherwise, they can’t move around, they’re unhappy, and we can’t attract a whole set of very talented people.
In the brief, the businesses point out that DOMA requires them to discriminate against their employees or assume a greater financial burden to provide them with the same benefits as their heterosexual colleagues.
Blankein said that there have not been severe consequences to the company’s support for equality, though he previously has admitted that some of their clients no longer wished to affiliate with them. The Human Rights Campaign has honored Blankfein for fostering an inclusive work environment.