HRC Announces Unprecedented Business Support Ahead of Reintroduction of the Equality Act in

by Ianthe Metzger

With operations in all 50 states and more than 8.5 million employees, the nation’s leading companies are backing historic, bipartisan federal legislation that would finally add LGBTQ people to America’s civil rights laws

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization — announced that an unprecedented 161 leading businesses have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. With a combined operation in all 50 states, headquarters in 26 states, more than $3.7 trillion in revenue, and more than 8.5 million employees across the United States, these companies know how important it is to have a federal legal standard that guarantees all employees the same rights and protections — no matter where they live.

Expected to be introduced in Congress next week, the bipartisan Equality Act would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation's civil rights laws. Currently, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in the 30 states that still lack statewide legal non-discrimination protections, leaving their residents and visitors at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are or who they love.

“The more than 160 leading American companies that have joined HRC's Business Coalition for the Equality Act are sending a loud and clear message that the time has come for full federal equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. "By standing with the LGBTQ community and joining the fight to pass the Equality Act, these companies are demanding full federal equality for the more than 11 million LGBTQ people in this country who deserve to earn a living, raise their families and live their lives free from discrimination. These leading employers know that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also good for business.”

“At The Hershey Company, we recognize that our talented employees are our business edge, and that retaining our place as the market leader in our category requires the best talent,” said Kevin Walling, Hershey’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “To help us achieve our goal of recruiting the nation’s top employees, we know that we must foster a business culture that is welcoming to all, regardless of sexual orientation, or gender, or race, or other status.  By the same token, if our nation is to compete on a global stage, our federal laws must ensure that all employees are treated with the same respect.  That is why The Hershey Company supports the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Act.”

“At Kellogg, we firmly believe in diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live,” said Mark King, Global Head, Diversity & Inclusion, Kellogg Company. “Supporting the Equality Act demonstrates our continued commitment to creating an environment in which all employees are included, treated with dignity and respect, and are empowered to achieve their full potential.”

“As one of the world’s leading innovators with more than 165 years of life-changing inventions, we know how important it is to foster an environment where every individual is treated with dignity and respect,” said Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President, Corning Incorporated. “Consistent with Corning’s Values, we believe in equal treatment for all employees regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ people are our innovators, our friends, our family members, and our neighbors, and they deserve to be able to live their lives free from discrimination or harassment.”

Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for LGBTQ Americans. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination. The Equality Act would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs and jury service.

Recent polling shows that a growing majority of Americans support federal non-discrimination protections and LGBTQ equality. A recent survey by PRRI found that seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) support laws like the Equality Act. In addition, post-election polling from HRC found that 60 percent of voters in the 2018 midterms opposed the Trump-Pence administration’s reported plans to define gender entirely by sex assigned at birth, thereby potentially excluding transgender people from civil rights protections. Overall, voters also identified protecting the rights of groups targeted by the Trump-Pence administration as their top reason for voting to flip the U.S. House.

Major corporations in the HRC Business Coalition for the Equality Act include: A.T. Kearney Inc.; Abercrombie & Fitch Co.; Accenture; Adobe Systems Inc; ADP; Advanced Micro Devices Inc.; Airbnb Inc.; Alaska Airlines; Alcoa Corp.; Ally Financial; Inc.; American Airlines; American Eagle Outfitters; American Express Global Business Travel; Apple Inc; Arconic; Ascena Retail Group Inc.; Aspen Skiing Company LLC; AT&T Inc.; Atlassian; Bain & Co. Inc.; Bank of America; Best Buy Co.; Biogen; Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.; Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.; Boston Scientific Corp.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.; Brown-Forman Corp.; Caesars Entertainment Corp.; Capital One Financial Corp.; Cardinal Health Inc.; Cargill Inc.; Chevron Corp.; Chobani; Choice Hotels International Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc.; The Coca-Cola Co.; Corning Inc.; Cox Enterprises Inc.; CSAA Insurance Group; Cummins Inc.; CVS Health Corp.; Danone North America LLC; Darden Restaurants Inc.; Deloitte; Diageo North America; The Dow Chemical Co.; Dropbox Inc.; E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont); Eastern Bank Corp.; eBay Inc.; EMC Corp.; Ernst & Young LLP; The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.; Evolent Health Inc.; Exelon Corp.; Expedia Group; Facebook Inc.; Food Lion; Gap Inc.; General Electric Co.; General Mills Inc.; General Motors Co.; Glassdoor Inc.; Google Inc.; The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America; Gusto; HERE North America LLC; The Hershey Company; Hewlett Packard Enterprises; Hilton Inc.; HP Inc.; HSN Inc.; Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; Hyatt Hotels Corp.; IBM Corp.; IHS Markit Ltd.; IKEA Holding US Inc.; Insight Enterprises; Intel Corp.; InterContinental Hotels Group Americas; Iron Mountain Inc.; John Hancock Financial Services Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Juniper Networks Inc., Sunnyvale, CA; Kaiser Permanente; Kellogg Co.; Kenneth Cole Productions; KPMG LLP; Levi Strauss & Co.; Lendlease Americas Inc.; Linden Research Inc.; Lyft Inc.; Macy's Inc.; Marriott International Inc.; MassMutual; MasterCard Inc.; Merck.; MGM Resorts International; Microsoft Corp.; Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; Monsanto Co.; Moody's Corp.; Nationwide; Navient; Navigant Consulting Inc.; Nike Inc.; Northrop Grumman Corp.; Nuance Communications; Office Depot Inc.; Oracle Corp.; Patreon Inc.; Paul Hastings LLP; PepsiCo Inc.; Pfizer Inc.; Pinterest Inc; PNC Financial Services Group Inc.; Procter & Gamble Co.; Pure Storage Inc.; Qualcomm Inc.; Realogy Holdings Corp.; Replacements Ltd.; S&P Global Inc.; Salesforce; SAP America Inc.; Shire PLC; Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP; Shutterstock; Sodexo Inc.; Spotify USA Inc.; Square Inc.; Symantec Corp.; Synchrony Financial; T-Mobile USA Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Target Corp.; Tech Data Corp.; TIAA; TPG Global LLC; TransUnion; Turner Construction Co.; Twitter Inc.; U.S. Bancorp; Uber Technologies Inc.; Ultimate Software Group Inc.; Under Armour Inc.; Unilever; Univision Communications Inc.; Visa; Warby Parker; Wells Fargo & Co.; WeddingWire Inc.; Whirlpool Corp.; Williams-Sonoma Inc.; Workday Inc.; Xerox Corp.; Yelp Inc.; Zillow Group.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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