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New Balance Says It Likes Gay People More Than Mitt Romney

New Balance Says It Likes Gay People More Than Mitt Romney


No matter what you've heard about New Balance's chairman giving money to Mitt Romney's campaign, the shoemaker wants to assure gay people it's on their side.

CEO Rob DeMartini posted a letter today that put him in the odd position of distancing the company from its chairman, Jim Davis.

"Let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance," DeMartini wrote. "We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different."

What's different this time is the $500,000 donation by Davis went to a candidate who signed a pledge from the antigay National Organization for Marriage, which also attracted the backing of Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum. The ensuing uproar was encapsulated in a petition posted on, titled "Tell New Balance: Stop Supporting Anti-Gay Politicians."

"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," DeMartini wrote. "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."

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