Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein has become the first major CEO to lend his support to the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign promoting same-sex marriage.
In a 30-second video, Blankfein said, “America’s corporations learned long ago that equality is just good business and is the right thing to do.”
The video was released on Monday by the Human Rights Campaign on its website and on YouTube. Blankfein’s ad is the twelfth video for the campaign which has included notable figures including New York Giants’ owner Steve Tisch, whose ad was released in June, actor John Leguizamo and NFL Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Scott Fujita. The Human Rights Campaign launched Americans for Marriage Equality in October 2011 with Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
“Corporate America has long since been a leading agent of change and progress for LGBT equality,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “While the federal government continues to discriminate against committed and loving same-sex couples, America’s companies and executives like Goldman Sachs and Lloyd Blankfein have made equality for LGBT people a top priority.”
Investment bank Goldman Sachs, based in New York City, has a non-discrimination policy in place that includes sexual orientation.
Goldman Sachs and other investment banks have attracted criticism from groups like Occupy Wall Street for supporting wealth inequality. But Goldman Sachs’ average employee bonus was down over 50 percent last year. According to a regulatory filing on Friday, Blankfein’s bonus was cut in 2011, but he received $7 million in restricted shares, down from $12.6 million in 2010. He also reportedly has a base salary of about $2 million.