A San Francisco Bay-area financial services company has not yet ruled out Oklahoma City for a major office relocation, a vice president of a real estate search firm confirmed. A decision is expected in three to four weeks.
But Tom Maloney, vice president of California-based Staubach Co., would neither confirm nor deny that the 1,000-employee, AAA-rated client company's top executive is a lesbian who expressed concern over Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern's recent anti-homosexual statements, as has been the topic circulating among local business leaders.
Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the issue is a major concern the chamber is trying to address. He confirmed a Staubach consultant was troubled by Kern's comments during a recent visit to the city.
"He told us straight up … 'I cannot recommend to any of my clients that they should consider Oklahoma City because of that,'" Williams said. "When you have one of the nation's premier relocation experts making those statements, you should pay attention to that and not dismiss it.
"And that's immediately what happened: People said, 'Well, then tell them not to come here.' The problem with that is they (relocating firms) represent many of the Fortune 500 companies. And to be so dismissive of something that's a lot more sincere than people are giving credit, to me, shows a lack of understanding of what's really going on."
Um, what? Sorry, Roy, but the idea that Kern is sincere makes this worse, not better. We understand perfectly what's going on--you (or at least Kern and her supporters) don't want gays in Oklahoma. That means you can't complain when they decide not to move to Oklahoma, nor bring their jobs there.
The sad part is that this would hurt the citizens of Oklahoma and would do nothing to Kern, the person who deserves it. Ah, well.
Via Ed Brayton.