Illinois Business Leaders Endorse Marriage Equality

A coalition of business leaders have endorsed marriage equality in Illinois, including Fred Eychaner (chairman of the Newsweb Corp.), Laura Ricketts (co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, and companies like Google, Orbitz Worldwide, and Groupon. In an open letter, these corporate leaders encourage lawmakers to support same-sex marriage for the benefit of company employees and the state’s economy:

Marriage equality would strengthen the workforces of Illinois employers, who know there is no substitute for employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Companies must understand a changing marketplace and be able to connect with their customers; having a diverse workforce is a part of that. That’s one reason many employers have adopted non-discrimination policies and offer domestic partner benefits.

Marriage equality promotes economic development, too. According to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, allowing same-sex couples to marry would generate between $39 million and $72 million in revenues for Illinois businesses, creating $4.5 million to $8 million in new sales and lodging tax revenues over three years.

Religious leaders in Illinois have spoken out on both sides of the issue, and the lawmakers introduced legislation upon the start of the new session.