Should businesses take a side in the gay marriage equality debate? Only if they want to be on the right side of history or else it's just bad marketing, and karma.
Levi Strauss has taken a stance, outfitting its mannequins in white. Bruce Watson of Walletpop explains:
The White Knot program encourages people to demonstrate their solidarity with marriage equality by wearing a small piece of knotted white ribbon. A subtle symbol, white knots have appeared on the clothing of celebrities ranging from New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to comedienne Kathy Griffin. And now, of course, they are appearing on hundreds of Levi's mannequins.
San Francisco-based, family owned Levi Strauss was the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to "domestic partners of unmarried employees." Now the jean giant is spreading a symbol of one of the most important issues of our time--love (versus fear). Now that's good business--forward thinking and engaging.
While it seems likely that Levi's might lose a little bit of market share in some of the country's more conservative areas, its move to embrace gay rights suggests that this issue has become more about civil rights than about religion. In this context, it seems like the move for universal marriage rights may have turned a corner.
As a Christian, I don't see this as a religious issue at all. It's a basic rights issue. (Whoever thinks otherwise is using fear-based thinking and preaching separation, which is the opposite of what God wants for us.) The fact that there are businesses, like Levi's, that take a stand of support for gay civil rights, in this harsh economic climate, proves as much.
To read more of Watson's break-down of Levi's support of gay marriage equality, go to Walletpop.com.