Alienating Half Your Clientele

No other topic these days is more polarizing than gay marriage.  It seems like everyone has a strong opinion one way or another.  Now suddenly companies are taking sides in this discussion.

As a company P.R. representative would you in good conscious make a statement which would likely alienate half of your customers?  I don’t see how this is good business practice.  My guess is that someone on the corporate board of these companies has strong feelings one way or another which tends to cloud whether or not this makes their company look good in the eyes of all of their customers.

We could have seen this back in the 1980s and 90s with the abortion debate.  Yet unless a company was strongly connected to a Christian evangelist or women’s health organization we didn’t see strong statements for or against abortion.  Today seems to be just the opposite in taking sides in the gay marriage debate.
Here’s my message to companies.  Please focus on making a good product or providing a good service.  Leave the politics to the legislatures / voting boxes.