To The Editor of the Columbus Republic:
I write you today as the president of Indiana Equality Action, a statewide civil rights coalition which promotes the positive aspects of a diverse state. We advocate specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers, but that fight extends to all persons who love liberty and this great state. And I write because Columbus has every reason to continue to be proud of its leading corporate citizen: Cummins, Inc.
On March 16, 2011 Cummins sent an executive to the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on House Joint Resolution 6, the Marriage Discrimination Amendment, to testify about the chilling effect such legislation could have on Cummins’s business. It was stunning, honest testimony. Rather than hearing the first-hand business opinion for what it was worth, proponents of Constitutional discrimination denounced Cummins. It was typical “Attack the Messenger” politics. Ugly, unfounded and illogical.
Cummins’s representative was joined by a dozen Hoosiers—businesspersons, ordinary citizens, first responders, military, a recognized family law professor, and a Christian pastor—who collectively said: Enough! Stop writing intolerance into Indiana law (let alone our Constitution)!
Cummins, among other Hoosier business leaders, provided powerful testimony to this undisputed fact: today’s global marketplace demands a talented and diverse workforce. And, when governments at any level, tolerate or promote discrimination as broad as HJR6, it sends a chilling message to talented potential employees, investors and stakeholders: in effect, you’re welcome if you conform to a narrow prototype.
On March 28, 2011 Maggie Gallagher, president of the misnamed “National Organization for Marriage,” placed a full-page paid advertorial in this newspaper, which chastised Cummins with faulty logic and a broad partisan leap of logic.
N.O.M’s outrageous claims truly do stand on their own.
Cummins likely won’t respond to the outrageous ad, because they’re a classy organization. The net effect of N.O.M’s ad is a cash infusion into Columbus, via a paid ad, from out-of-state influence-peddlers. Good for Columbus.
We want the good citizens of the Columbus area, and all of Indiana, to know that Cummins is a recognized world leader in multiple categories: engines, workplace diversity, and corporate citizenship. Their century-long record of service to Indiana and the world is beyond reproach. The philanthropic influence of the company and its leaders, have been deeply-rooted in Hoosier culture for decades. Their March 16th Senate testimony continued that heritage. It was a brave reflection on the current economic and political environment.
We who have too few courageous votes in the legislature, and our allies everywhere, salute Cummins, with heartfelt thanks. We are grateful that good-hearted corporate citizens still exist. If we could rush out and buy a dozen Cummins diesel engines, we would.
Rick Sutton, President
Indiana Equality Action
You can view the ad here: Download NOM.Ad