Dallas Morning News Editorial Board Advocates for Equality
WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joins the Dallas Morning News in calling on ExxonMobil to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy. This morning, the Dallas Morning News editorial board weighed in on the controversy surrounding ExxonMobil’s 13-year refusal to add the protections, publishing a scathing editorial.
The fight to make ExxonMobil’s non-discrimination policy inclusive dates back to 1999. Before Mobil Corp. was acquired by Exxon Corp., Mobil prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and offered health benefits to domestic partners of its employees. Upon its 1999 merger with Exxon, the non-discrimination policy was removed and the domestic partner benefits program was closed to new employees. Since that year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation along with other groups such as the New York City Pension Funds, has filed a resolution to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in the company’s EEO policy.
In March, ExxonMobil again asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow it to omit a resolution, sponsored by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its EEO policies from its shareholder meeting which will be held May 30. The SEC rejected the request to block the shareholder resolution.
“ExxonMobil has resisted offering basic employment protections for their LGBT employees for years,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “With each passing year, it becomes more apparent that instituting inclusive non-discrimination policies is the right thing to do. This year alone, the New York State Comptroller said it’s fiscally responsible, the SEC cleared a path to progress, and the oil giant’s hometown newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, called on the company to protect all workers”
On HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, ExxonMobil received a score of -25. In contrast, oil and gas companies such as Chevron, BP, Shell, and Spectra received scores of 85 or higher. As of 2012, 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their EEO policy and 50 percent include gender identity.
More information on the HRC Corporate Equality Index is available at www.hrc.org/cei.