Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the coalition pushing for the state Senate to pass same-sex marriage, has unveiled a new group, Rhode Island Business Leaders for Marriage Equality, whose prominent members include Brown University President Christina Paxson (not yet listed on the Web site) and Providence Journal publisher Howard Sutton.
The business group leads with an economic argument in backing same-sex marriage, while also citing a need for employees to be "treated fairly":
As a proud member of Rhode Island's business community, I understand that the ability to attract and retain top talent from around the world is critical to creating a competitive business environment.
Having a diverse workforce also helps businesses—both large and small—understand the changing marketplace and better connect with their customers.
Allowing all loving, committed couples in Rhode Island to obtain a civil marriage license would strengthen the workforce for Rhode Island employers.
Here's the rundown on members of the business group:
- Sally Lapides - President,Residential Properties Ltd
- Aaron Horowitz - CEO,Sproutel
- Alec Taylor - CEO,FGX International
- Alan HassenfeldHassenfeld Family Foundation
- Allan Tear - Managing Partner,Betaspring
- Angus Davis - Entrepreneur,(Self)
- Barbara Schoenfeld - Managing Director,Saffron, LLC
- Barry Fonseca - President,Pilgrim House Inn
- Brian Furze - Marketing/Sales,Fieldstone Enterprises
- Brian Sweenor - President/Owner,Sweenor's Chocolates
- Cara Cromwell - Principal,Cromwell Public Affairs
- Cass Sapir - CEO,Thumbs Up
- Chad Mellen - President, Cross Accessories,A.T. Cross
- Rev. Charles CavalconteCommissioner, Economic Development Commission, Bristol
- Chris Daltas - CEO,Greentape
- Chris Erway - Chief Architect, APM,AppNeta
- Cindy Feinstein - Podiatrist,NE Podiatry Assoc.
- David Milner - Founder and CEO,NuGen Capital Management, LLC
- Deborah Norman - Owner,Rue de L'Espoir
- Dennis Blair - Owner,Hydrangea House Inn
- Ellis Waldman - President,Walco Electric Co.
- Foster Sayers - CEO,121nexus
- Gerald Lewis - President,Pennant Co
- Gregory DiStefano - Executive Director, University Marketing, Johnson & Wales University
- Hamzah Ansari - CEO,Accelereach Inc.
- Hannah Chung - Co-founder, Chief Creative Officer,Sproutel
- Helena Foulkes - EVP,CVS Caremark
- Howard Sutton - Publisher, President & CEO,Providence Journal Company
- Jack Templin - Partner,Betaspring
- Jakob Garrow - CEO,WorldBrain
- Janette Talento Ley - Office Manager,Christopher w. Ley MD, Inc
- Jason Woodward - Co-founder / CTO,RecoVend, Inc.
- Jeffrey Grybowski - CEO,Deepwater Wind
- Joel Strellner - CEO,Socialping, Inc.
- John Farber - President,HEYMB Food Enterprises LLC
- Jon Duffy - President,Duffy & Shanley
- Judd Rosenblatt - CEO,Crunch Button
- Katherine Field - President,Katherine Field & Assoc
- Kay Mcgowan - CEO,A Curated World
- Kirsten DiChiappari - The Chatter Group,The Chatter Group
- Kyle Nichols-Schmolze - CTO,Jump Off Campus
- Lauren Prestifilippo - Rootless,Rootless
- Lee Beliveau - Director of Marketing, Development & Government Affairs,The Groden Network
- Martin Baginski - Manager,Professional Ambulance
- Mary Millard - Int. Design Consultant,C Millard Inc.
- Max Winograd - President and Co-Founder,NuLabel Technologies, Inc.
- Melissa Withers - Chief of Staff,Betaspring
- Michael Gennaro - Executive Director,Trinity Repertory Company
- Michael Rubinstein - Dentists,Rubinstein & Ducoff
- Nicholas Napp - MoveableCode,MoveableCode
- Owen Johnson - Managing Partner,Betaspring
- Rohan Vakil - Former Intern,Betaspring
- Ryan Laughlin - Co-founder/CTO,Splitwise, Inc.
- Scott Guelich - CEO,Care Thread, Inc.
- Stephanie Caress - Administrative Coordinator,Betaspring
- Stephen Hourahan - Chief Advancement Officer,Family Service of Rhode Island
- Susan Farrell - Spring Seasons Inn & Tea Room,Spring Seasons Inn & Tea Room
The Rhode Island House passed a same-sex marriage bill by a large margin last month. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the issue this spring.