5 Companies Just As Anti-Gay As the Boy Scouts Of America


The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has long maintained a policy banning openly gay men from being members of the organization at any level. The long-standing policy has been upheld by a Supreme Court decision, but has also resulted in some of their biggest corporate sponsors - UPS, Intel, Merck and United Way – to halt their contributions and support to the organization.

The BSA had signaled that it was ready to put to a vote ending the controversial policy, but that decision has been delayed until May. The BSA said the issue was too complex to allow the 70-member national executive board to decide the matter; instead, the organization will present the issue to the 1,400-member BSA National Council at its annual meeting. LGBTQ advocates had felt encouraged that the policy would be repealed by the national executive board; executive board members Randall Stephenson (CEO of AT&T) and James Turley (CEO of Ernst & Young) have advocated removing the ban. However, conservative advocacy groups e.g. The Family Research Center strongly oppose lifting the ban.

The Boy Scouts of America is just one of many organizations with outdated gay policies. Here are 5 other organizations that have outdated LGBTQ policies:

1. Exxon/Mobil:

In 2009, the Human Rights Campaign declared Exxon/Mobil as having a rating of 0 - zero - on their Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a "national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees." In 2012, their rating dropped to -25, becoming the first company to ever receive a negative rating (636 were rated).

Exxon/Mobil is one of the few Fortune 500 companies to not include sexual orientation in their EEO policy. Additionally, "ExxonMobil is the only U.S. employer that has ever rescinded both a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and domestic partner benefits, and is the only Fortune 10 company that does not have a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation."

The organization routinely files a request with the Securities and Exchange Commission to omit a resolution sexual orientation from its annual shareholder meeting. In its defense, Exxon/Mobil can cite that that its shareholders have successfully voted against any attempt to modify its anti-gay policies. Exxon/Mobil’s practice is highly atypical for a company in its equivalent industry, region, and size. Chevron received a perfect score in the 2011 Corporate Equality Index. Several other Texas-based companies have earned the green designation denoting a company with an index rating of 80 and above. AMR Corp, AT&T, and Dell are all Texas-based Fortune 1000 companies that have received a perfect score in the CEI.

2. Berkshire/Hathaway:

Warren Buffet’s company received a 0 rating on the Corporate Equality Index. The investment power house (#7 on the Fortune 500 list) does not provide domestic partner health benefits and does not provide "parity in spousal/partner soft benefits," e.g., re-location assistance, bereavement leave, or employee discounts. The company does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its anti-discrimination policies. The company does not support diversity training, resources, or accountability measures supporting LGBTQ employees.

3. AutoZone:

Ranked #332 on the Fortune 1000 and best known for its Duralast and Valucraft product lines, the automotive giant received a 15 on the CEI. "America’s number one retailer of auto parts and accessories" does not provide domestic partner benefits and does not have a supportive LGBTQ culture. In 2008 the company received a 25 in the HRC Buying guide, indicating "a business that has more work to do in furthering equality." By 2012, their rating had dropped to 15. Their 2013 rating – still an abysmal 15!

4. Dick’s Sporting Goods:

Dick’s Sporting Goods' mission is to be recognized by their customers as the #1 sports and fitness specialty retailer through the improvement of everything they do. If their customers include gay people, they are not doing a very good job. Dick's has a rating of 15 in the HRC Buying Guide. The Fortune 500 company does not provide domestic partner benefits of any kind including healthcare, bereavement leave, supplemental life insurance, or joint/survivor or pre-retirement/survivor annuity benefits. The company does not support diversity initiatives that encourage a healthy respect for the LGBTQ community or demonstrate a cultural competency on LGBTQ issues.

5. News Corp:

Rupert Murdoch’s organization received a 15 on the CEI, although it is not clear whether this represents the parent company or is inclusive of its holdings (Fox News, Twentieth Century Fox, Barrons, Dow Jones, FOX TV, etc.). Similarly to other low ranking companies, the organization does not support benefits for domestic partner relationships and is not overtly and explicitly involved in supporting resources and accountability measures in support of gay and lesbian employees.