Sixty leading American companies, including several household brands, have formally given their backing to Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) campaign for a federal Equality Act in the US.
Corporates to call for federal protections for LGBTI people include Airbnb, Apple, Coca Cola, Nike, Facebook, Gap, Intel, Dropbox, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Google and Hilton Worldwide, among others.
The proposed Equality Act was introduced last year by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin and Cory Booker; and Representatives David Cicilline and John Lewis. It has been supported by the HRC since its launch.
If accepted, the Act will effectively expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protection for LGBT people.
HRC has launched its Business Coalition for the Equality Act to demonstrate that LGBT protections have the backing of corporate America.
Companies that have pledged their support have operations across the US, with headquarters spanning 22 states and combined $1.9trillion in revenue. Between them, they employ over 4.2million in the US.
‘These business leaders are showing true leadership and fighting to end a shameful status quo that leaves LGBT people at risk in a majority of states for being denied services or fired because of who they are or who they love,’ said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement.
‘We’re proud of all these corporate leaders stepping forward to say that all Americans, including LGBT people, should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living.’
‘Laws that allow such discrimination create an unfavorable social and business climate’
According to a HRC survey, nearly two-thirds of LGBT Americans have reported experiencing discrimination, and 50% of them live in States where they are at risk of being fired, denied housing or refused services.
Further research undertaken by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 70% of 42,000 people polled in the US support the introduction of the Equality Act.
Last year, when the Equality Act was introduced, Apple was among the first companies to announce its backing, saying at the time: ‘At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.’
In a statement to Gay Star Business, a spokesperson for American Airlines said: ‘For nearly two decades, American has been a pioneer in our fair-minded policies and practices for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and customers.
‘We believe no individual should be refused service or employment because of gender identity or sexual orientation. Laws that allow such discrimination create an unfavorable social and business climate, are fundamentally unfair, and promote intolerance and division.’
The full list of companies that are part of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act are as follows:
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
American Eagle Outfitters
Best Buy Co. Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
CA Technologies Inc.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Capital One Financial Corp.
Cardinal Health Inc.
Choice Hotels International Inc
CVS Health Corp.
Diageo North America
General Electric Co.
General Mills Inc.
Hilton Worldwide Inc.
Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Johnson & Johnson
Levi Strauss & Co.
Marriott International Inc.
McGraw Hill Financial
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
T-Mobile USA Inc.
Tech Data Corp.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Co.
The Hershey Company