Record Year for Corporate Support of LGBT Rights

Image via HRC.

Image via HRC.

What has already been a progressive year for LGBT rights across the nation, the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index reveals that it was also a record-breaking year for corporate support of the LGBT community. The Index is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality found that 304 major businesses—spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent and the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” “This will go down in history as the year that corporate support for equality left the boardroom and reached each and every corner of this country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Not only do fair-minded companies guarantee fair treatment to [sic] millions of LGBT employees in all 50 states, but now those same companies are fighting for full legal equality in state legislatures, in the halls of Congress and before the US Supreme Court.”

In 2013, hundreds of major businesses signed on to historic amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Over 120 businesses joined a public coalition to urge Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a proposed federal law that would provide consistent nationwide legal protections from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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In addition to corporate America’s visible presence supporting LGBT rights publicly, the CEI reveals record numbers of major businesses updating their non-discrimination policies and benefits packages well ahead of federal mandates to support LGBT employees and their families.

More Fortune 500 companies implemented inclusive workplace non-discrimination policies than ever before — 91 percent provide explicit protections on the basis of sexual orientation and 61 percent on the basis of gender identity, a historic high.  Sixty-seven percent offer same-sex partner benefits, another record.

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