Press Room

June 05, 2005

Category: Domestic Partners

Suspended Ford Boycott Reveals Strong Support for Workplace Fairness

'Today, in six months or in six years, fairness in the workplace is still good for business,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - On the heels of a failed boycott against the Walt Disney Company, an anti-gay lobbying group called the American Family Association has suspended for six months a boycott it called last week of the Ford Motor Company. The AFA complained that Ford's corporate policies pledge not to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and that Ford provides equal benefits for all its employees.

"Today, in six months or in six years, fairness in the workplace is still good for business," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Like most of corporate America, Ford understands that these policies aren't just the right thing to do, but they're also good for the bottom line. Fair-minded policies help recruit and retain the best talent while improving productivity by ensuring that all of their employees can provide for their families."

On the same day the group announced the boycott suspension, an annual report released by the HRC Foundation showed that U.S. businesses are leading the way in granting protections for GLBT families through expanded domestic partner benefits and non-discrimination policies.

The report - The State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans 2004 - shows:

ᄡat least 8,250 employers provide domestic partnership benefits at the end of 2004 - a 13 percent increase over last year

ᄡamong the Fortune 500, 216 companies provided domestic partner benefits, a tenfold increase since 1995, when only 21 did so

ᄡnon-discrimination policies covering gender identity and expression continue to rise with a total of 51 Fortune 500 companies including transgender people in their policies - up 89 percent from 2003 when 27 Fortune 500 companies had the policy and

ᄡforty-nine of the Fortune 50 companies include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies and 410 companies in the Fortune 500 - or 82 percent - did so at the end of 2004.