Eli Lilly: "Don't discriminate, Indiana"

From BillyZoom's DailyKos diary: Eli Lilly Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Ban - Fundies Go Nuts
If you're familiar with Indiana, you know it's a very conservative state. People here tend to like things the way they are and loathe any kind of change. The state hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since 1964.

Currently, the state is debating a constitutional ammendment that would not only ban gay marriage, but disallow courts from ruling in favor of civil unions.

The proposed ammendment reads like this:
(a) Marriage in Indiana consists only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This Constitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
Well, today, Eli Lilly and company sent a letter to the Speaker of the Indiana House, Pat Bauer, a Democrat whose position is not all that clear. In that letter, Lilly stated its opposition to the ammendment (sic).
Dear Speaker Bauer:
Thank you for asking for our view on the proposed legislation SJR 7, Section 2, (b) and whether Lilly provides domestic partner benefits. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Lilly is one of the largest private employers in Indiana, employing nearly 16,000 people in this state.

In January of 2004, Lilly made the decision to offer domestic partner benefits. Uncertainty around the current language of SJR 7, Section 2, (b) has raised concerns with many Lilly employees in Indiana that these benefits may be at risk. As a result of this uncertainty, some employees may choose to leave Indiana to work in a state where these benefits are perceived not to be threatened.

Given the great lengths Lilly takes to attract and retain top talent from around the world, we oppose any legislation that might impair our ability to offer competitive employee benefits or negatively impact our recruitment and retention.

Beyond this, we are concerned that the proposed legislation sends an unwelcoming signal to current and future employees by making Indiana appear intolerant. As a result, we believe this amendment works against Indiana's stated desire to broaden its appeal to attract new businesses to the state.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. If I may be of further assistance, please contact me at [phone number].

Tony Murphy, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Thanks to Blue Indiana for transcribing the letter.

And Lilly is right. If Lilly wants to continue to attract quality people from all over the world, it really needs to be able show that its new hires to the headquarters in Indianapolis will be able to work in an open and tolerant environment.

Unfortunately, many of the people of Indiana aren't all that open to or tolerant of people who are different from white heterosexual Hoosiers.
You know, the folks who are behind SJR-7 because it "protects marriage" are usually the same people who are behind doing just about anything to help Indiana's businesses - or, at least, the large ones. A good example? Why, none other than Gov. Mitch Daniels - the former President of Eli Lilly, who's sitting on his hands while his GOP cohorts in the statehouse push this travesty of a bill.

I'm just glad that the people of Indiana aren't being made to vote on this bill, because after some of the hateful, homophobic, outright disgusting comments I've seen about this, I'm afraid it'd pass without a second thought.