Why A Realtors’ Group Spoke Out on Same-Sex Marriage
Leadership

Why A Realtors’ Group Spoke Out on Same-Sex Marriage

Sticking out your neck on a contentious issue isn't always easy. But the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has a sound reason for doing so.

Certain political issues — especially social issues — can be extremely tough for associations to take a stance on.

But the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) recently took one of those issues head-on. Here’s why:

In some cases, nonlegally married couples may never be able to reach the same level of benefit and privilege that married couples are already granted.

What they’re opposing: MAAR is opposing a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman — which voters will decide at the polls next week. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that polls show voters are evenly divided  and the referendum could go either way.

Why they got involved: The group sees the issue as one that could affect homeowners and renters–and, by extension, its members’ businesses. MAAR specifically notes that nonmarried homeowners have fewer rights under the law than married couples do. “Separate but equal is not fair under our country’s founding principles,” the group wrote in a policy statement [PDF]. “Furthermore, in some cases, nonlegally married couples may never be able to reach the same level of benefit and privilege that married couples are already granted.”

Why it stands out: Few trade groups have taken a stance on same-sex marriage — presumably because their members are divided on the issue. But MAAR’s position appears to align with its business interests.

Who else opposes it? Among the key corporate interests fighting the ballot measure are Thomson Reuters and General Mills. The cereal company’s Ken Charles, in a blog post on the measure, emphasized that taking a political stance was a rarity for the company — but one in line with its values. “While General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.”

Is MAAR taking the right approach? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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