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Gay revolution in the workplace

Companies are competing with each other to produce the most imaginative gay-friendly policies. American Express has an internal “pride network” with more than 1,000 members. Cisco gives gay workers a bonus to make up for an anomaly in the American tax code. (If you are married, the cost of various insurance premiums is deducted from your pre-tax income, but if you are merely a partner it is deducted from your post-tax income.) Some companies vocally support gay marriage. In the past fortnight Lloyd Blankfein, the boss of Goldman Sachs, has accepted an invitation from HRC to become its first corporate spokesman for gay nuptials, and seven big companies, including Microsoft and Nike, have written to Congress to support the idea.

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Still, the gay revolution in the workplace is remarkable. In most places, companies are more liberal than governments. In America, for example, until last year soldiers could be kicked out of the army for being gay, and 29 states still allow discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. In the coming years, the revolution is likely to gather pace. Younger workers are far more relaxed about homosexuality than their parents were. Indeed, many young heterosexuals would feel uncomfortable working for a firm that failed to treat gays decently. Companies vying to recruit them will bear this in mind.

Of companies and closets, The Economist.