Jim Davis, the Chairman of the popular shoe company New Balance, reportedly donated $500,000 to the campaign of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney via a Super-PAC.
The anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage released a pledge last week, said to be signed by Romney, which declares a dedication to: 1) the passing of a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages; 2) to overturn Washington, D.C.'s legalization of gay marriage via a forced voter referendum; along with other outrageous declarations.
The simultaneous release of the two revelations resulted in heated criticism of Davis and his company as being supportive of anti-gay politics. On Wednesday, New Balance's CEO, Rob DeMartini, released this statement of clarity via Facebook:
A letter from our CEO:
Dear New Balance associates, customers and consumers:
Earlier this year, a private donation was made by our Chairman to a political action committee that is affiliated with Mitt Romney. First, let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance. We encourage civic engagement at all levels and will always respect the right of any of our associates to engage in the political process as they see fit. We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different.
Mr. Romney recently signed a pledge that challenges same sex marriage and that has offended many including those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Mr. Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis', my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community. As a company, New Balance embraces the differences in all people and we work tirelessly to create and sustain an environment where everyone – our associates, consumers, customers and guests – are treated with dignity and respect.