Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Center for Michigan Highlights Holland In Article On Michigan Gaining an "Unwelcoming Reputation"


Holland is featured in the CFM's latest piece:

 "In Holland, the city council’s recent decision to omit sexual orientation and gender identity from its anti-discrimination policies has drawn calls for a downtown boycott and criticism from businesses, reports the Grand Rapids Press.  Major area employers such as Herman Miller – a perennial designee in Fortune’s ‘100 Best Places to Work’ ranking — and Haworth had supported the change to the anti-discrimination policy; both firms offer benefits to workers’ same-sex partners.

“We live in a multicultural world and marketplace,” Herman Miller spokesman Mark Schurman told the Grand Rapids Press. “Just as our customers reflect a wider world, we believe our business has to reflect that as well in the people and talent we attract and retain to serve those customers.”

Overt statements such as Herman Miller’s are uncommon among Michigan businesses, which have been fairly mum on the state’s legal and political gyrations relative to same-sex policies — despite a good showing by the state’s for-profit employers when it comes to human resources policies concerning the LGBT communities.

“There haven’t been a whole lot of for-profit business leaders who have spoken out,’ said Michael Gregor, communications director for Equality Michigan. And, he noted, the disconnect between LGBT-friendly employment policies and lack of marriage rights for gays erodes Michigan’s appeal.
“It’s a bit of a conflict when you have corporations here that offer really good policies, but the state doesn’t recognize your relationship,” Gregor said.

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