Bergen Dispatch

Weinberg, Eustace: UBS Must Sever Ties With Garrett And Stand Against Hate And Bigotry

Bergen Dispatch — March 17, 2016

By Paul Nichols

At the Paramus branch of UBS today, State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Maywood) and New Jersey Citizen Action were joined by dozens of supporters as they called on the global financial services firm to stand against hate and bigotry and immediately sever ties and suspend donations to anti-LGBT Tea Party member Scott Garrett.

"It's time UBS joins the many corporate donors who have done the right thing by repudiating Garrett and his bigotry. In fact, they should demand their money back," said Senator Weinberg. "Garrett's hateful views have no place on Main Street or Wall Street, let alone in Congress. Financial institutions are an integral part of our North Jersey economy and we should expect them to send the right message to their LGBT employees and customers."

"Scott Garrett's bigoted stance that simply being gay should disqualify someone from running for office isn't just upsetting to me, it's a slap in the face to all New Jersey families and businesses who champion equality and celebrate diversity," said Assemblyman Eustace. "That's why it's so concerning when companies in our community who tout their commitment to LGBT rights also write checks to someone who advocates for discrimination."

Eustace has pledged to go "branch to branch, company to company until other [corporate donors] stand with the LGBT community against Garrett's bigotry and hatred." Last month, in response to a planned demonstration by Eustace and Garden State Equality, PNC Bank became the latest financial institution to suspend contributions to Garrett.

Many financial companies have already distanced themselves from Garrett following reports of his comments that he would not pay dues to the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) because of its support for gay candidates. Companies in addition to PNC Bank that have stopped contributing to Garrett include Goldman Sachs, Capital One, BBVA Compass, U.S. Bancorp and Nomura Holdings.

Garrett has been dubbed "Wall Street's Bigot in Washington" by Business Week and a Bergen Record editorial called his opposition to gay candidates "repugnant." Likewise, a New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial chided Garrett's anti-LGBT position as, "The moral equivalent of excluding African-American candidates, or women, or Latinos."

UBS has made two donations of $5,000 each, the maximum amount allowed, to Garrett's campaign this election cycle according to publicly available Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures. The contributions seem at odds with UBS's public stated "commitment to diversity and inclusion" and the
several examples of "Key efforts by UBS in LGBT equality" touted by the company. Additionally, UBS has been recognized as one of the "best places to work for LGBT equality" by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Eustace said other companies with offices and/or employees in New Jersey who should stop contributing to Garrett include Allstate, State Farm Insurance, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Mondelez International, First Energy, Blackrock Capital Management, Principal Life Insurance Company, Capital Group and Lincoln National Group.

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