Log in
Login
Password
Remember
Lost password
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

Startup investors seek gay-couple equality from SEC

09/09/2013 | 01:53pm US/Eastern

A group of startup investors and venture capitalists are asking U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to ensure investment rights equality for gay couples.

In a September 4 letter, more than 50 people with a campaign known as StartupEquality.org urged the SEC to afford gay couples the same rights as straight couples to invest in private placements and other startups.

At issue is an SEC rule that defines who is eligible to participate in private stock offerings.

That rule says only "accredited investors" who meet certain income or net worth thresholds are eligible. Under the rule, a married couple can combine their incomes to meet the accredited investor definition.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that struck down a federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married gay and lesbian couples.

StartupEquality.org is concerned that gay couples in states that do not allow gay marriage could effectively be locked out of the start-up market.

As the rule is currently written, the investors said they fear couples joined in civil unions or domestic partnerships, rather than technically married, could be prevented from qualifying as "accredited investors."

"If you are not an 'accredited investor,' you are effectively shut out of early stage investing," the investors wrote.

StartupEquality.org's letter was submitted to the SEC in response to a July proposal to require hedge funds and other firms offering private stock deals to provide regulators with more information on the nature of their ads and steps they took to verify they were only advertising to qualified accredited investors.

Part of that proposal also asks the public to comment on whether changes are needed in the SEC's definition of accredited investor.

StartupQuality.org's letter urges the SEC to tweak its accredited investor rule to define the term "spouse" more broadly so that it will cover a domestic partner, designated beneficiary, husband or wife - regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

"This problem is urgent," the investors wrote.

"For the sake of justice, and to protect the integrity of capital formation for America's innovation economy, we respectfully urge you to adopt the clarifying rule."

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the letter.

He noted that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law requires the SEC to revisit and consider revisions to the accredited investor definition every four years.

The last change the SEC made to the definition was in 2011, after the agency moved to exclude the home value in the calculation of net worth.

By law, the SEC is not able to make changes to the definition of accredited investor until 2014.

It will likely consider making some changes next year, especially after the Government Accountability Office in July issued a report urging the SEC to modernize the accredited investor definition.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Andrew Hay)

By Sarah N. Lynch

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
12:53a LAFARGEHOLCIM : Gives Its Roadmap for the Second Half of the Year – Focus on Successful Execution of the Integration and Free Cash-Flow Generation
12:50a CHINA TING : ANNOUNCEMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 3.7 OF THE TAKEOVERS CODE, RULE 13.09 OF THE LISTING RULES AND INSIDE INFORMATION PROVISIONS AND RESUMPTION OF TRADING (in PDF)
12:45a CUE ENERGY RESOURCES : Changes to the Board of Directors
12:43a Main events scheduled for Thursday, July 30
12:40a AUD/USD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Candle Setup Hints at Gains
12:40a NZD/USD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Three-Month Channel Broken
12:40a EUR/GBP TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Euro Down Trend Resuming?
12:40a SOUTH PORT NEW ZEALAND : 2015 Annual Meeting Director Nominations
12:40a JASTRZEBSKA SPOLKA WEGLOWA : Mining on Saturday - only in the most cost-effective walls
12:40a BUREAU VERITAS : Latest CPS Global E.A.W. eNewsletter for Electronics, Automotive and Wireless / Smartworld is Available – July 2015
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
FLAGSTAR BANCORP : Mortgage Production, Servicing Grow
NEWMARKET : posts 2Q profit
GLOBO : Tr-1 Notifications Of Major Interests In Shares
VALIDUS : misses 2Q profit forecasts
WABASH NATIONAL : tops Street 2Q forecasts
Most Read News
07/28 USMEF U S MEAT EXPORT FEDERATION : Audio: Persistently Low Prices, Weak Euro Fuel Large Volumes of EU Pork into Asia
07/28 EMERALD GRAIN PTY : rebrands east-coast accumulation network
07/28 INDUSTRIAL INCOME TRUST : to Be Acquired by an Affiliate of Global Logistic Properties
07/28 MEDIA ADVISORY : Government of Canada Supports Business Development in Western Canada
07/28 MEDIA ADVISORY : Harper Government to Announce Support for Community Infrastructure in Winnipeg and Area
Most recommended articles
12:40a AUD/USD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Candle Setup Hints at Gains
12:40a NZD/USD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Three-Month Channel Broken
12:40a EUR/GBP TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Euro Down Trend Resuming?
12:40a USD/CAD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Eyeing Support Below 1.29
12:40a GBP/USD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS : Range Resistance Back in Play