The mission of

" has a simple mission," writes Dan Shapiro in an important guest post on TechCrunch. That mission "is to get same-sex couples the same rights to invest in startup companies as heterosexual couples."

CaptureOur "ask" of the SEC is to expressly acknowledge that persons in civil unions, domestic partnerships, or similar state law relationships, should have the same ability to pool resources, for purposes of satisfying accredited investor thresholds, as persons who are married.

Here's the rule is proposing that the SEC adopt:

A spouse of a natural person shall mean another person, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, whose relationship with the person specified: (1) may be characterized as such person's (i) husband, (ii) wife, (iii) spouse, (iv) domestic partner, or (v) designated beneficiary under any applicable state law for the purpose of ensuring that each person in a two-person relationship has certain rights or financial protections based upon such designation; or (2) is that of the other party to a civil union with such person.

I encourage every member of the community to read Dan's post and also consider weighing in on the comment thread developing there.

We didn't used to talk about discrimination against sexual orientation in the startup community. But now that we see how embedded it is in the enabling rule set, we have to confront it.

And the way to start is to acknowledge the inequity and to talk about it.

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