Press Room

May 25, 2004

Category: Domestic Partners

Nearly One-Third of ExxonMobil Shareholders Vote to Change Company EEO Policy to Include Sexual Orie

'With every year it resists this change, ExxonMobil loses potential employees and dedicated consumers,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - ExxonMobil shareholders voted today with record support for a shareholder resolution to amend the company's written equal employment opportunity policy to include the category of sexual orientation. ExxonMobil stands alone among oil companies in the Fortune 100 in failing to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination statement, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's WorkNet project.

"With every year it resists this change, ExxonMobil misses out on potential employees and dedicated consumers," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "Every single ExxonMobil board member works for a company with such a policy. With that kind of representation, arguments against making this change ring hollow."

This was the sixth year the ExxonMobil resolution has been voted on by stockholders. The percentage of shares voted in favor of the proposal has grown each year, with 28.9 percent of shares voted in favor of the policy this year - representing more than 1.5 billion shares. In May 2003, the resolution garnered 27.1 percent of the vote, up 15 percent from the vote in 2002.

ExxonMobil is one of only three companies in the Fortune 100 that does not cover sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. Sixteen Fortune 100 companies also cover gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

"We fail to understand why ExxonMobil insists on remaining out of step with the largest, most successful U.S. companies, including many of its competitors," said Kim I. Mills, HRC's education director, who was in Dallas for the shareholder meeting. ChevronTexaco Corp. (Fortune 6), ConocoPhillips (Fortune 7), Valero Energy Corp. (Fortune 34), Marathon Oil Corp. (Fortune 35) and Williams Companies Inc. (Fortune 98) all have non-discrimination statements inclusive of sexual orientation.

Mobil Corp. offered such written protection, and domestic partner benefits, to its employees however, upon its 1999 merger with Exxon, the basic non-discrimination protection and the benefits program was closed. Twenty-four members of Congress, and thousands of stockholders and consumers, wrote to ExxonMobil Chairman Lee R. Raymond in December 1999 to protest the policy reversals. In January 2000, stockholders and activists protested at a company facility in Houston, causing the facility to close for the day.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community