The Human Rights Campaign’s ninth annaul Corporate Equality Index has been uploaded, and some 337 companies (up from 305!) managed a 100 percent score. Many of them have been quick to spit out press releases announcing the news, including SC Johnson, Cox Enterprises, and UPS. Not waving around the new PDF file? Target, Best Buy, and 3M, which all contributed at least $100,000 in cash to MN Forward’s effort to elect anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, and who all (finally) lost the 15 points allotted for “Responsible Citizenship,” defined as “exhibit[ing] responsible behavior toward the LGBT community; does not engage in action that would undermine LGBT equality. Employers found engaging in activities that would undermine LGBT equality will have 15 points removed from their scores.” But not for the reason you’d think.
The companies weren’t penalized for their original donations. Instead, Target, Best Buy, and 3M “are being penalized under the existing CEI criteria not for the donation itself, but for failing to respond to significant community concerns” and choosing “to take no corrective action.” That is: Contributing money to help elect candidates who don’t believe in civil rights is not something that’ll hurt your HRC score, but failing to, say, contribute money to LGBT-friendly candidates as a counter balance? That will.
And so it remains in HRC’s way of doing things: They’ll still love their corporate abusers even after they make us bleed, so long as they say they’re sorry. Great to see the Corporate Equality Index is as misleading as ever.
Now one big round of applause for ExxonMobil, which succeeded in scoring another 0 percent rating! Last time that honor was shared only with the Laclede Group Inc., which this year jumped to a 48 percent score having “implemented a fully inclusive non-discrimination policy.”
(NB: We’d be remiss not to make explicit what HRC wants these scores to represent: “The CEI is not an award or overall ‘seal of approval.’ It is an effective tool that is designed for a specific purpose: to improve workplace conditions for LGBT people by encouraging corporations to adopt pro-LGBT policies for their workforces.”)
Target + Best Buy Prove HRC’s Corporate Scoring Is Wholly Flawed. Is It Also Meaningless?
And Your Boycott of Target Can Remain Forever: Don’t Expect Them to Donate Any Money to Pro-LGBT Candidates