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Putting Gay Rights in the Spotlight at the World Economic Forum

On January 23, 2014, Third Point CEO Dan Loeb and Elliott Management CEO Paul Singer spent 90 minutes discussing the progress of LGBT rights globally with an international array of activists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  Along with Dan Loeb and Paul Singer, the sponsors of this discussion included Microsoft and The Huffington Post.

Although this year’s World Economic Forum included official events associated with social topics such as gender equality, it did not include any official panels or events devoted to LGBT rights. Dan Loeb and Paul Singer both discussed the importance of placing the issue on the global agenda of the World Economic Forum. They discussed recent setbacks including the passage of antigay laws in in Russia, Nigeria and Uganda. Daniel Loeb also spoke of using financial, legal and social pressure to take a stand on the cause of gay, lesbian and transgender equality.

“As an activist, it resonated to see the levers that can be pushed,” Dan Loeb said.

During the panel discussion, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, called for activism at WEF.

Dan Loeb has long been a strong advocate for gay rights, including marriage equality, and was one of the strongest supporters of the efforts to pass New York’s gay marriage laws in 2011. He recently partnered with the Human Rights Campaign in an initiative to advance gay rights around the world.

Attendees of this panel discussion included Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; William Browder, head of Hermitage Capital Management; and Brad Smith, top in-house lawyer at Microsoft.

Original Article By: Michael J. Del La Merced
Source: The New York Times