“We need more than just a rainbow logo,” Human Rights Campaign President Calls on Business Community to Reject Coordinated, Extremist Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

by Jared Todd

WASHINGTON - Earlier today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights advocacy organization, in partnership with over 100 LGBTQ+ and allied organizations, renewed its call for Target and the business community to reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism going into 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, as well as a list of signers, can be read in full HERE.

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

This year, we need more than just a rainbow logo. Going into Pride Month – a protest for our fundamental rights and a celebration of visibility and queer joy – businesses play a bigger role than ever before in championing LGBTQ+ inclusion and representation. The LGBTQ+ community is experiencing the worst year on record for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation – over 520 bills that aim to strip us of our very existence, dignity and history, from the doctor’s office to the classroom to the sports field.
At a time when our community faces increased bullying, mandates on which bathroom we can use or sports teams we can play on, book bans and healthcare restrictions, I’m proud and overjoyed, like the vast majority of Americans, to see transgender and nonbinary-inclusive marketing ads and campaigns. It’s a little bit of light and a feeling of belonging to so many in our community.
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, 100 plus organizations are here to tell our corporate allies not to bow to the bullies.
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. Every time businesses stand up and speak out for LGBTQ+ equality, they come out on top, regardless of baseless, anti-business attacks.

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.

The Human Rights Campaign 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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