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Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Explains Why She Changed Her Mind on Same-Sex Marriage

Hewlett-Packard CEO and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who signed her name to an amicus brief being filed this week by more than 80 Republican lawmakers and political leaders, explained today in a LinkedIn post her decision to sign the brief opposing Proposition 8:

WhitmanI have come to embrace same-sex marriage after a period of careful review and reflection. As a candidate for governor three years ago, I supported Proposition 8. At the time, I believed the people of California had weighed in on this question and that overturning the will of the people was the wrong approach. The facts and arguments presented during the legal process since then have had a profound impact on my thinking.

In reviewing the amicus brief before deciding to put my signature on it, one passage struck an immediate chord with me. In explaining his own support for same-sex marriage, British Prime Minister David Cameron once said, “Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

During my business career, I have lived by a philosophy I refer to as “the power of many.” I truly believe that what we can do together, none of us can do alone. By leading from this principle, I have been able to manage thriving organizations that have delivered great results. I believe the same holds true for society at-large. We are simply better when we are bonded together.

Marriage is the fundamental institution that unites a society. It is the single greatest contributor to the well-being of adults and children because it promotes eternal principles like commitment, fidelity and stability. It makes no difference whether the marriage is between a man and woman or a woman and woman. Marriage makes society better.

Whitman also outlines the contents of the brief, and in justifying her change-of-mind cites President's Obama's decision to come around in support of marriage equality last year.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

The core argument of the amicus brief is that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for providing different legal treatment of committed relationships between same-sex couples. Without the presence of such a rationale, precedent should result in the U.S. Supreme Court overturning California’s ban on gay marriage.

The amicus brief argues that the oft-cited claims that civil marriage between same-sex couples will somehow hurt traditional marriage and be detrimental to children have been rejected by social science. Rather, we now know that children who grow up in intact, married families are much more likely to do well in school, achieve professional success and enjoy the benefits of stable, adult family lives.

In contrast, children who live with unmarried, cohabitating partners encounter significant challenges in their lives due to the higher separation rates of their parents and lower household incomes. Laws like California’s Proposition 8 do not fortify traditional marriage, they merely prevent hundreds of thousands of children of same-sex couples from enjoying the benefits that accrue from marriage.

Like several others who have either sought or held public office, including President Obama, I have changed my mind on this issue. Same-sex couples and their children should have equal access to the benefits of marriage.

My decision to support civil marriage is solely my own. I hope that the Supreme Court will heed the arguments in the amicus brief. Establishing a constitutional right of marriage equality in California will strengthen our nation as a whole.

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Comments

  1. I read this as either she was never really against it but threw gays under the bus for political purposes or she really was agaisnt it but is switching sides in hopes of another run at public office. Either way I am not impressed.

    Although I secretly love that the Tea Party forced so many Rs further to the right just as the country took a big hop to the center & left.

    Posted by: robroy | Feb 26, 2013 6:51:33 PM


  2. Always glad to embrace our allies and supporters.

    Posted by: Andre | Feb 26, 2013 6:54:44 PM


  3. Maybe my comment is out of line or ill informed but it strikes me that there is no rolling bandwagon she won't jump on.

    Her change on mind is paraded as principle; but it sounds just populist.
    I don't buy the new found conversion.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 26, 2013 6:56:00 PM


  4. If it were to be between her and another anti-gay republican, I'll pick her.

    Posted by: Andre | Feb 26, 2013 6:56:44 PM


  5. So if you are anti-equality, you must remained anti-equality til death and eternity ... ?

    Posted by: Andre | Feb 26, 2013 6:58:15 PM


  6. LOL! so it's all about the children's welfare? got it. not anything to do with basic rights--adults' rights AND children's well-being.

    FAIL. but thanks for your support anyway, laggard.

    Posted by: redball | Feb 26, 2013 7:00:45 PM


  7. I have a feeling she was never against same-sex marriage but championed prop 8 while running for governor thinking it would get her votes, since the electorate passed it.

    Too bad. Had she said that, as governor, she wouldn't defend prop 8 as Jerry Brown said, I might have thought about considering the possibility of maybe voting for her. Maybe. Probably not though.

    Posted by: Ken | Feb 26, 2013 7:01:01 PM


  8. support is support. let's not be small about this.

    Posted by: candide001 | Feb 26, 2013 7:20:24 PM


  9. "During my business career, I have lived by a philosophy I refer to as The power of many." I truly believe that what we can do together, none of us can do alone."

    Um, yeah, Hilary Clinton already said years ago "It takes a village." You know what we also do together? Pay fair taxes. Not crap on the poor and middle class. This is soooooo conservative. LOL

    Posted by: Kieran | Feb 26, 2013 7:50:56 PM


  10. I agree that she threw us under the bus when she ran for governor. Nevertheless, I am DELIGHTED that she is on our side now.

    I wish that every other person who threw us under the bus will take an example from her and do the equivalent of signing an amicus brief on our behalf.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Feb 26, 2013 7:52:21 PM


  11. I agree that she threw us under the bus when she ran for governor. Nevertheless, I am DELIGHTED that she is on our side now.

    I wish that every other person who threw us under the bus will take an example from her and do the equivalent of signing an amicus brief on our behalf.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Feb 26, 2013 7:52:23 PM


  12. Jeez, we get someone to change their mind in a very public way and the bitchy queens jump on her? Can't we just say "hey, that's a good thing she did" and move on?

    Posted by: Joseph L | Feb 26, 2013 8:20:00 PM


  13. My gut is telling me she has never cared and still doesn't care but now that the tide is turning, she is too. I'll take her support but I don't respect the woman.

    Posted by: Steve Sando | Feb 26, 2013 8:26:59 PM


  14. My gut is telling me she has never cared and still doesn't care but now that the tide is turning, she is too. I'll take her support but I don't respect the woman.

    Posted by: Steve Sando | Feb 26, 2013 8:27:00 PM


  15. I'll take her support; but I have a long memory and if she's using this as a tool to become Governor again...it's not going to work. She was venal, cold, and unrelenting; so one good thing can't undo the damage she did.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Feb 26, 2013 8:29:25 PM


  16. Translation: I was pandering for Republican votes then, and now I'm not.

    Posted by: Ken | Feb 26, 2013 8:36:22 PM


  17. *cough* Bulls**t *cough* She sees the writing on the wall, and doesn't want to be labeled a bigot in history. The truth being, if more and more of our youth weren't embracing equality and same-sex marriage, and the tide turning, then Whitman, certain GOP leaders, etc., would still be strongly against it. It is good that she is now embracing it, but remember the old adage, "A leopard doesn't change it spots."

    Posted by: CB | Feb 26, 2013 8:38:40 PM


  18. Lip service from McCain in drag.

    Would u by car from this broad?

    Hewlett who?????

    Posted by: M2 | Feb 26, 2013 9:05:18 PM


  19. HELP. "'Yeah, he was good at a cocktail party,' Roger chuckles. ... 'Thank God this legislation wasn't in place then,' Roger says with a gulp. 'He would have been entitled to ongoing support payments. Which is absolutely horrifying, because I never took it too seriously.'"
    RB

    Posted by: GB | Feb 26, 2013 9:12:45 PM


  20. I call bullsh*t on this one. Her decision to change her public stance is purely political. She wanted to be governor so bad she was willing to throw us under the bus, but now that she isn't currently running for office and she sees that the wind is blowing in our direction, she doesn't want to be irrelevant.

    Posted by: Ulu | Feb 26, 2013 9:22:48 PM


  21. She is SO FREAKIN' DESPICABLE!!! She was Romney's finance chairman, then decides that her entry into politics should be supporting prop 8 and abandoning the gay programmers at eBay that put her on the map. THEN she is too busy to vote. EVER!!! Before she ran for governor there is no record of her voting anywhere ever! But she wants people who do bother to vote, to vote for her!!

    All of the reasons she gives for her expedient epiphany were still valid before. ABsoFREAKinLUTEly HATE HER! They all see which way the wind is blowing and suddenly don't want to seem bigoted. FAIL!!!

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 26, 2013 9:24:28 PM


  22. "By working together, we made me rich!"

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 26, 2013 9:34:53 PM


  23. She changed her stance because it is politically expedient. Whitman has no moral compass or principles. She is just interested in holding on to power.

    Posted by: thepolarbeast | Feb 26, 2013 9:39:49 PM


  24. I guess it's now safe for Republicans who qualify as former political candidates, termed out politicians and "Rodentia" fleeing sinking ships, to come out from the closet. Well as long as they are suddenly but truly principled.

    Posted by: StevyD | Feb 26, 2013 10:07:11 PM


  25. This announcement doesn't carry much weight. First, she specifies that she is speaking only as a private individual, so she is not putting her company's weight behind the statement. It would have been more significant if she had arranged a vote by the HP board to issue a corporate endorsement. That, however, would require leadership. Second, she says she has led "thriving organizations that delivered great results." Well, she's not universally respected as a CEO from her time at ebay (remember when she shoved her subordinate? that cost the company $200K in settlement money, and Meg resigned a few months later), her $178M losing run for governor, the failed 2008 Romney campaign, or her tenure now at HP that has featured some significant stumbles. So, it's better than nothing--but not much better.

    Posted by: SC David | Feb 26, 2013 10:32:13 PM


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