Today, just days after the introduction of the historic Equality Act in Congress, five new major American companies announced their support for comprehensive, federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. Each of these new leading corporations – American Airlines, Facebook, General Mills, Google and Nike demonstrated their belief that all LGBT Americans should have the protections from discrimination in federal law that they deserve. These companies join Apple, The Dow Chemical Company, and Levi Strauss, & Co. in supporting comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation.
STATEMENT BY AMERICAN AIRLINES – “We at American Airlines are proud of our long history of supporting LGBT equality. Now is the time for full equality for the LGBT community in the United States. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business.”
STATEMENT BY FACEBOOK – “We are open and vocal supporters of equality. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is a fundamental principle at Facebook and we support legal protections for LGBT Americans as outlined in the Equality Act.”
STATEMENT BY GENERAL MILLS – “At General Mills we have a long history of supporting LGBT equality and the time has come in this country for full, federal equality for the LGBT community. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business.”
STATEMENT BY GOOGLE – Diverse perspectives, ideas, and cultures lead to the creation of better products and services and ideas. And it’s the right thing to do. That’s why we support protections for LGBT individuals as outlined in the Equality Act.”
STATEMENT BY NIKE – “At NIKE, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, and we strive to treat our employees equally. We believe that diversity drives innovation and allows us to attract and retain world class talent. We need fair and equitable laws that prevent discrimination, and NIKE supports the Equality Act introduced by Senator Merkley and his colleagues in Congress. This is another important step in the fight for equality.”
All eight of these major companies scored a perfect 100 on HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a nationally recognised benchmark of LGBT inclusion in the workplace, and were recognised on HRC’s list of Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality in 2015.
“The American business community is once again demonstrating what it has long understood — that inclusion gives rise to innovation and productivity, and discrimination has no place in the workplace,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We are tremendously grateful to these corporate leaders for their support of the Equality Act and the basic principle that all Americans should be able to live their lives free of discrimination. These companies agree — equality is good for business and the time for full federal equality is now.”
Earlier this year, over 120 prominent leaders in the tech industry called on “legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone.”
On Wednesday, Ted Olson and David Boies, the bipartisan legal team that represented the plaintiffs in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case that challenged California’s Proposition 8 and was ultimately heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, came out in support of a comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination law.
The results of a new Democracy Corps survey from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research released Wednesday indicates that support for non-discrimination legislation unites the country. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of likely Republican voters support protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination, as do 90 percent of Democrats. Similarly, this legislation draws impressive majorities of support among college (84 percent) and non-college voters (73 percent), younger (85 percent) and older voters (75 percent), as well as observant Christians (70 percent).
In March, polling conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) revealed that nearly two-thirds of LGBT Americans (63 percent) have faced discrimination in their lives, with LGBT people reporting workplace discrimination as the most frequently experienced form of discrimination.