Queer Voices

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO, Named Corporate Spokesman For Same-Sex Marriage By HRC

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibi has penned a sharp-tongued critique of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group's decision to name Goldman Sachs' CEO as one of its spokespeople.

The Human Rights Campaign sparked Taibi's ire when it named Lloyd Blankfein its national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage.

Taibi describes the move as a slap in the face to poor and working people all over the world:

How would the members of the HRC board feel if a group of labor unions got together and decided to nominate an antigay bigot like Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer or James Dobson to head a national campaign for workers’ rights?

Taibi lays out an extensive case for why HRC should be ashamed of its decision in the piece, which can be read in its entirety on Rolling Stone's website.

He also points to David Sirota's Salon post, which claims Wall Street bigwigs like Blankfein gain a great deal of public goodwill for this type of advocacy, without sacrificing their bottom lines.

Taking a page out of corporate greenwashing strategies, many of the most offensively greedy, right-wing thieves in the business world have long touted their personally progressive position on select social issues like gay rights as a means of publicly presenting themselves as Good and Decent People. Not surprisingly, the particular progressive causes they choose tend to be those that do not impact their businesses or personal economic situations.

The Guardian's Jason Farago agreed, writing, "gay marriage in the United States, from the bank's view, is probably a fait accompli":

Our relationships and their legal status have become a PR no-brainer, a cause so devoid of risk that a CEO facing unprecedented populist backlash can support them as much as your favorite Occupier.

A spokesperson for HRC told The Huffington Post that Blankfein is "but one more person" supporting gay marriage.

"In the weeks and months to come, we’ll be adding even more voices from diverse backgrounds to reflect how Americans from all walks of life support marriage equality," Fred Sainz told HuffPost in an email. "Mr. Blankfein’s is but one more person lending their support to the marriage equality movement. That’s it."

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