The US Supreme Court met this week to hear arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which limits the definition of marriage to explicitly exclude same-sex couples. The Supreme Court signaled in the first day of hearings that it was unlikely to issue a sweeping ruling that would declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right, but the proceedings are heating up the topic of equality for all without regard to sexual orientation. In a gesture of support, many people are publicizing their stance on gay marriage (you probably noticed the red equal-signs on Facebook recently).
Companies are getting in on the action too. Last week at Starbucks' annual meeting, CEO, Howard Schultz, told shareholders to sell their stock and invest elsewhere if they had any issue with the company's stance on marriage equality. When asked about disappointing first-quarter performance following a company boycott by the National Organization for Marriage, Schultz responded "If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it's a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much."
So far 278 employers, from Zynga to JetBlue have signed on to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. Employers argue the act is not only in bad taste, but that equal marriage rights are good for business, especially from an administrative standpoint.
Business Section: Investing Ideas
Many investors have been known to avoid stocks that trade weapons, cigarettes or prisons due to moral positions, but that universe has widened to consider more ESG (environmental and social governance) concerns. This is especially true for younger investors who are paving the way for the future of trading.
More than ever investors want to see their money going towards socially responsible companies that reflect their values as a way to support causes through stock trading. This ranges from supporting gay rights to erecting solar panels on the firm's properties or funding cancer research.
Understandably, companies must be very careful where they land on hot-button issues as not to deter certain customers, or in order to attract new crowds.
With that in mind we list here 8 publicly traded companies pulled from Queeried list of Pro Gay Companies. Queeried writes that these "companies have all shown their support for equal rights for all via political activism, fund-raising and equal rights and benefits for same sex partners of their employees."
Here they are, with the summarized comments from the original post. Use Kapitall's tools to help analyze these firms and decide if these pro-gay companies have a place in your portfolio.
1. American Apparel, Inc. ( APP): Engages in the manufacture, distribution, and retail of fashion basic apparel for women, men, children, and babies. Market cap at $255.01M, most recent closing price at $2.37.
This LA-based company not only supported the repeal of Proposition 8, but also produced a Legalize Gay T-shirt in 2008 for protestors. Thousands of requests for the tee prompted American Apparel to make it available in stores and online, and today they have an entire line of clothing for the cause.