The bill in question is the misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act” (H.R.8404) – a measure Democrats feel is necessary if conservative states use the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade as grounds to challenge Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
In September, the pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign mobilized more than 200 businesses and thousands of supporters to rally behind a Senate vote on the Respect for Marriage Act. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the measure in July.
Justin Dahof, head of corporate governance at Strive Asset Management, thinks businesses ought to stay out of this issue.
"There is an election coming up in November – and that is where decisions like this should be made: in the political ballot box,” Danhof argues. “Those folks who you vote for or don’t for in November are the ones who are accountable to the American citizenry [and] to the American electorate.
“The CEO of Dell [and] the CEO of Toyota [for example] are responsible to their shareholders,” he continues. “They have a legal, fiduciary duty – that is, the duty of loyalty and a duty of care – to the shareholders; and the American public does not have the direct means of holding them accountable. Their shareholders do, but those are two different things.”
The problem, according to Danhof, is that now corporations and their leaders are “putting their thumb on the scales of political decisions when no one in society appointed them to do so – and we just think that is inappropriate."
Danhof recommends that traditional values voters – whether they be shareholders, customers, or just concerned citizens – contact a company and voice their opinion.