When the Supreme Court ruling came out that same-sex couples were entitled to marry under U.S. law, I was pleased. In my personal opinion, this ruling corrected longstanding discrimination that was against the founding principles of this country.
Knowing that I have some gay clients and that many of my clients would likely have gay relatives or friends, I decided to put on a webinar covering the financial impacts of marriage for same-sex couples. I offered my clients – and guests at their option – to attend by email invitation.
I got one response that shocked me.
Here is what it said:
Please remove my name from any communications regarding same sex marriage. The topic is of no interest or value to me and I find it morally offensive. I can’t even imagine why you invited me since my wife and I are male and female like most marriages in the world.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I had no idea that this client was so prejudiced. Since I have a well-established practice, I can afford to dismiss a client, but should I?
After mulling it over and discussing the issue with my team, I decided to take a stand, but not to fire the client. I wanted to be clear with my feelings, but not stoop to his level of intolerance. Here is my reply:
We’re sorry you feel the way you do about same-sex marriage; however, same-sex marriage is now legal in this country, and it’s a big step forward for civil rights. If you don’t know anyone that would benefit from our webinars and updates regarding same-sex marriage, please simply delete the emails. We don’t wish to spread hate by replying negatively to your email, but we don’t feel the same way that you do.
We are able to remove your name from our mass mailing list, but you will not be receiving any email updates from our company. Please confirm that this is what you wish, and you won’t receive these emails (except the newsletter which you may opt-out of on your own). We will not be adding a separate category for individuals against same-sex marriage.
Thank you for your continued trust in our company.
I haven’t heard back from him. Maybe he’s seeking out a new advisor. That would be okay with me.