ICYMI: Over 200 LGBTQ+ and Allied Organizations Call on Business Community to Speak Out Against Extremist Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

by Jared Todd

Organizations that have signed on to the statement include National Education Association, National Association of Social Workers and National Women's Law Center, National Center for Transgender Equality, Equality Federation, Matthew Shepard Foundation, NMAC

See Kelley Robinson share her thoughts on businesses and Pride on CNN with Jim Acosta from Saturday, June 3rd

WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights advocacy organization, in partnership with over 200 LGBTQ+ and allied organizations, called for Target and the business community to reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism this Pride Month. Recent pushback against businesses such as Anheuser-Busch and Target, blatantly organized by extremist groups, serves as a wake up call for all businesses that support the LGBTQ+ community. The coalition statement can be read in full HERE.

President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Kelley Robinson released the following statement:

“Extremist backlash to LGBTQ+ inclusion is not new. It’s an old, stale playbook that’s now hastily being labeled as ‘anti-woke’ from folks who want us back in the closet. These extremist groups and individuals continue to employ hate and intimidation.
But today, 200 plus organizations are here to tell our corporate allies not to bow to the bullies.
Allyship is sometimes uncomfortable, especially when your values are tested. Businesses that retreat from their own values of diversity, equity, and inclusion when anti-LGBTQ+ attacks, from statehouses to social media platforms, are at an all time high are making a short-term gamble that won’t just backfire now, it will backfire years into the future. We’ve seen it again and again: Businesses that stand up for the values they espouse send a powerful message to their employees, shareholders and customers that equality is not up for debate. It’s time for businesses to act on their values – stand up and speak out for LGBTQ+ equality.”

From Kelley Robinson’s USA Today opinion piece, June 5th: “It is in this atmosphere that companies are entering Pride Month – a timely reminder that inclusion is not selective nor half-hearted. Being an LGBTQ+ ally this Pride means moving beyond the seasonal rainbow logo to taking meaningful action – speaking out against hate-filled legislation, providing relocation benefits for workers who have to flee their states, and standing by the community when the water gets hot.”

Equality is good for business:

  • The Gen Z consumer and workforce is not the future, they are the right now, and more than 1 in 5 of them identify as LGBTQ+.

  • Research shows that if a brand publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights, Americans are 2x more likely to buy or use the brand. Americans ages 18-34 are 5.5x more likely to want to work at a company if it publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

  • Seven in ten (71%) of U.S. LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to purchase from a company that “outreaches and advertises to the LGTBQ+ community” (Community Marketing Insights [CMI]).

  • Internally, 68% of employees surveyed in 2021 would consider quitting their current job and working with an organization with a stronger viewpoint on the social issues that matter most to them (Gartner Inc.)

    • Employees whose employer has taken a strong stance on current societal and cultural issues are twice as likely to report high job satisfaction.

For over 20 years, the Human Rights Campaign has worked with companies on how to center values of diversity, equity and inclusion in policy and practice through the Corporate Equality Index and Workplace Equality program. HRC encourages businesses to sign the Count Us In pledge as a way to proactively demonstrate their unequivocal support for the LGBTQ+ community.

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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