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Thomson Reuters' local execs say 'no' on marriage amendment

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON
  • Star Tribune
  • July 13, 2012 - 8:39 PM

The top Minnesota-based executives with Thomson Reuters have come out against the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

"We believe the Minnesota marriage amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent," Mike Suchsland, president of legal business, and Rick King, chief operations officer of technology, wrote to employees on Friday morning. "For this reason, we do not believe that the amendment would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state."

Thomson Reuters, a leading business data and information company, joins General Mills and St. Jude Medical in opposing the marriage amendment.

The New York-based company has about 7,900 employees in Minnesota, primarily in Eagan and Plymouth.

Minnesota for Marriage, the lead group pushing the amendment, has been trying to discourage businesses from opposing the measure. Last month, the group staged a boycott of General Mills when the company announced its opposition to the amendment.

On Thursday, Minnesota for Marriage touted a new study by CNBC identifying what it found to be the 10 most business-friendly states in the nation. Minnesota for Marriage noted that nine of those states have passed marriage amendments.

"The claim that the passage of the marriage protection amendment will hurt Minnesota's economy is a complete myth," said John Helmberger, board chairman of Minnesota for Marriage. "If anything, the opposite is true."

Helmberger noted that passage of the amendment will not change Minnesota law, which does not recognize same-sex unions.

"It simply puts our current definition of marriage beyond the reach of activist judges and politicians to change it without the consent of the voters," Helmberger said.

Suchsland and King acknowledged that some employees might not agree with their position.

"We know that there are varying points of view on the amendment and we encourage each of you to express your individual opinion at the polls," they wrote. " ... It's an issue that is full of emotion for many, so please remember to honor our tradition of treating all people fairly and with respect."

Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044

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