HRC Appoints Goldman-Sachs Honcho As New Marriage-Equality Spokesman


Queer activists upset that the Human Rights Campaign honored Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs at its annual gala last weekend probably won’t be thrilled to hear the organization has tapped GS chief executive Lloyd Blankfein to be its first national corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage.

Blankfein isn’t new to the fight for LGBT equality—under his tenure, Goldman Sachs started reimbursing LGBT employees for additional taxes they pay on domestic-partner benefits. And Blankfein, who is straight, wrote letters to New York lawmakers urging them to pass marriage-equality legislation.

His new role might go down harder with conservative finance types, though, than with OWS gays. As the New York Times reports:

HRC explicitly acknowledged that one reason they chose Blankfein was that it was an “unexpected” choice to pull someone from such a macho industry; however, the Goldman Sachs executive has long been a marriage equality supporter. The decision to make his support more public might run the risk of alienating conservative Goldman clients, reports DealBook, but it’s also surely a calculated public-relations move for Blankfein, who is rumored to be inching closer to stepping down from running the bank. Will it work?

“Lloyd Blankfein is not someone average Americans would think is going to support marriage equality,” [HRC’s Fred] Sainz said. “The green visor crowd is not typically associated with socially progressive policies, and this is further proof that a diversity of Americans are coming to the same conclusion.”

With this national campaign, Mr. Blankfein is stepping onto a prominent and politically charged stage — at a time when his public persona is suffering. In recent years, he has been pilloried for outsize pay packages and rewarding the type of risk-taking that led to the financial crisis.

As the tumult fades, industry watchers are wondering about his second act. Mr. Blankfein, who has run Goldman since 2006, is one of the longest-tenured chief executives on Wall Street, and speculation is mounting that he will hand over the reins to a deputy this year.

Although he has long supported same-sex marriage, his move could be seen as a public relations play, albeit one with unclear results. The affiliation with a liberal organization could also alienate conservatives who do business with the firm.

Well, you need money to make things happen in politics and no one can deny Blankfein knows how to make it rain.

Source: The New York Times. Photo: Financial Times, Forbes Live Media

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  • MattCA181


    People who can bring virtually the whole world to the brink of financial destruction, and ultimately have no remorse by continuing to use and justify practices that benefit no one but themselves are sociopaths. Why would the opinion of someone like that matter? Because they put profit for themselves above everything and everyone else? Money may give a person influence and power, but it doesn’t change the fact they these people like Blankfein were born without a sense of humanity. Just self-preservation to do it all again.

  • Sceth

    Finally. Queer activism with dignity. The hypersensitive halfwit “radical queer activist” self-marginalizing ideological ghetto will continue to exist, poor by incompetence and supporting economic policy reflective of that incompetence, but they’re being outmoded and quartered. Frabjous.

  • Joetx

    @MattCA181: Agreed.

    I had thought HRC was out of touch w/ regular LGBT people. This latest move just confirms it.

    HRC is a business, nothing more.

  • jeff4justice

    @MattCA181: Amen. However since most LGBT organizations already take donations from tobacco companies and alcohol companies and some pride events welcome condomless sex glorifiers is this any worse?

    I don’t know about any other small town LGBT community but in my hometown change comes from our community – no waiting for Washington and other big city mega LGBT groups (and thier 6figure executive directors) to do anything for us.

  • Cam

    “”HRC explicitly acknowledged that one reason they chose Blankfein was that it was an “unexpected” choice to pull someone from such a macho industry;””


    HRC has spent the last 15 years demanding that gays not file lawsuits for right, not pressure Congress, just to stay quite and out of the way.

    And now they admit that they picked somebody because they were from a “Macho” industry?? If there was any doubt that HRC’s board were ashamed of their own gayness, that reasoning wiped it all away.

    I have no problem with who they picked in that he seems to have done some good work for gays, but HRC’s reasoning for picking him is embarassingly self hating on their part.

    IF they want to apologize for being gay or not being macho, may I suggest they find a time machine and take it back to the 1950’s

  • the crustybastard

    Ferchrissakes, was Casey Anthony unavailable?

  • Rey

    When the institutions that can cause an international economic collapse are now on your side, you know you’re finally mainstream. YAYYY!!!!!????!!!!!????!!!!

  • SteveC

    The HRC does NOT represent the LGBT community. The HRC is an overused, and now irrelevant (yet festering) asshole.

  • Riker

    Like it or not, Blankfein is one of the most successful executives in the nation. He knows how to get what he wants. I’ll concede that he probably has some questionable ethics, but if GLB equality is something he really wants, he’ll do what it takes to secure marriage equality by any means necessary.

    Our opponents are ruthless in their attacks on our freedom, why should we not be equally as committed to our cause?

  • Jonathan

    Goldman explicitly supports Romney, the likely Republican nominee, who stands firmly opposed to civil rights equality for the GLBT community, in particular, gay marriage.

  • Kev C

    Maybe OWS can join sides with antigay business allies. The seem to be on the same page.

  • SteveC

    At least the HRC are now being open about the fact that they hold the LGBT community in utter contempt.

    HRC are irrelevant and only represent the very wealthy – why else would they get a corrupt, thieving scumbag like Lloyd Blankfein as their head.

    Blankfein should be in jail for his financial crimes against the American people.

    He is an appalling choice as HRC head.

    As I said though at least HRC are now openly acknowledging how much it hates the LGBT community.

    HRC can expect protests at all its future events while this criminal remains in charge.

  • ousslander

    I’m surprised he didn’t get a job in the White House. Next John Corzine heading GLAAD. Yet more crooks to lead.

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