Michigan companies praise same-sex ruling

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's U.S. unit hailed the Supreme Court's decision Friday to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states.

The carmaker was one of several major Michigan companies to praise the ruling.

The company's U.S. unit FCA US LLC is based in Auburn Hills — in one of the 14 states that had banned same-sex marriages.

"FCA US has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and respects the belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law and opposes any law that can result in discrimination. FCA US is a longtime supporter of LGBT communities and issues and was among the first automakers to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees. We applaud today's U.S. Supreme Court decision," the company said.

Kellogg Corp., the Battle Creek-based food company, posted a photo of a rainbow placemat at a breakfast table. "Kellogg's congratulates LGBT Americans on Marriage Equality! #LoveWins," the company wrote. "The same at every table."

Dow Chemical, the Midland-based chemical conglomerate, also hailed the ruling.

"A society that strives to foster inclusion, celebrate differences, and respect and welcome everyone enables its citizens and families to thrive, businesses to prosper and economies to grow," said Howard Ungerleider, CFO, Dow, and executive sponsor, GLAD — Gays, Lesbians and Allies at Dow. "As a matter of equality and human rights, and also a critical business imperative that plays a fundamental role in attracting and retaining the best and brightest team, it is quite simply the right thing to do."

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. tweeted "celebrating equality matters #whatmatters#SCOTUSMarriage" and also noted it was celebrating pride month.

Dow and other firms used the announcement to tout gay-friendly employment practices. "For more than a decade, Dow has offered policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion in the workplace including equal benefits to same-sex partners for everything from health, dental and life insurance to bereavement leave, relocation and dual career assistance. Dow also recognizes survivor benefits for same sex colleagues under its pension plan and provides transgender benefits," Dow said.

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. didn't post anything on social media sites about the ruling. Ford didn't comment on the ruling in a statement when asked by The Detroit News. "Diversity and inclusion are key components of our business strategy at Ford Motor Company. We strive for diversity in the workplace and throughout our business network. We are proud of our inclusive policies — where every member of the Ford team is valued. We have been offering same-sex partner benefits since 2000," Ford said in a statement.

GM said in a statement that "many of our employees and customers and their families are celebrating today and we support them."