6 Great Companies For Your Gay Dollar

gaybizWe gave you a rundown of the 10 worst companies for gays and lesbians, but according to an HRC report released last week, they’re an ever shrinking group. The 2009 Corporate Equality Index shows that companies are increasingly taking an interest in providing equal protection and a safe environment for their gay and lesbian employees. When HRC began rating companies on gay and lesbian equality, only 13 scored a perfect 100. Today, that number is 259. Here are six of the best.

apple-logo1Possibly the gay-friendliest company on the planet, Apple not only makes shiny computers that appeal to our innate sense of aesthetics, they also donated $100,000 to defeat Proposition 8 and encouraged visitors to their site to join in. In a statement, the company said:

“Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights – including the right to marry – should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.”


google-logoIn addition to providing full health benefits and domestic partner rights for its employees, search engine-behemoth Google also took the unprecedented step of speaking out against Prop. 8, saying:

“While there are many objections to this proposition — further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text — it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.”

They also put together a mean pride parade float.

Campbell Soup Co.

campbells-soup-i-1968-print-c10089337-1Campbell was the target of an American Family Association boycott earlier this year after they ran ads featuring lesbian mommies cooking soup for their son. Rather than bowing to political pressure, Campbell told the conservatives, “No soup for you!” The company promised to continue the ads, saying, “Inclusion and diversity play an important role in our business, and that fact is reflected in our marketing plan.”

Eastman Kodak Co.

kodak-logoKodak has been the recipient of many awards for its gay and lesbian inclusiveness over the years, but our favorite Kodak moment would have to be the 2002 story of Rolf Szabo, who, like all employees, received a memo explaining how to act appropriately if a co-worker disclosed their sexuality or gender orientation. Szabo hit “reply to all” and wrote: “Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive.” Kodak officials spoke with Szabo and asked him to apologize, and when he refused, they canned him. “The whole thing is true,” said Jim Blamphin, Kodak’s manager of corporate media relations. “This chap was asked to take part in a program that fosters inclusion, and he refused.” Right wingnuts jumped on the news and tried to make Szabo into a hero, but in the end he just remained (rightly) fired.

Levi-Strauss Co.
logo-levisThe first Fortune 500 company to offer health benefits to the domestic partners of its unmarried employees, Levi’s has a long history of supporting gay rights, including donating $25,000 to defeat Prop. 8. Robert Haas, the company’s chairman emeritus also gave $100,000 to No on 8. Plus, they do great gay ads.


nike_logoLast summer, Nike quickly removed an ad featuring a basketball player getting a mouthful of balls (by accident) emblazoned with the title “That Aint Right.” It was a rare misstep for a company that’s had a solid footing with the gay community for years, offering the full-range of domestic partner and health benefits for its employees and regularly sponsoring gay athletes at the Gay Games.

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  • Michael W.

    checks to make sure Apple made the list

    sees Apple at the very top where it belongs

    keeps it moving

  • Sebbe

    I’m glad you did the flip side as well and that these companies all where much more likely to receive my dollars anyways.

    I don’t ever remember seeing a Google float in an East Coast pride parade (make sense). Anyone have a picture on the interwebs?

    Good for Campbell’s, “No soup for you!” – LOL


    This post made me really angry. While Nike & Levi may support gays and lesbians, their clothes are made by poor, underpaid workers in sweat shops in third world countries. The working conditions are horrendous – long hours, very minimal pay, no rights what so ever. So next time you guys are thinking about spending $100 on some jeans, think about how much of that goes to all the rich execs and how little goes to the hard working employees who can barely put food on the table.


  • Darth Paul

    @POP MUSIC FORUM: Shall we all wear grass skirts jute sandals so everyone gets social justice and crappy products?

  • Geoff

    Great companion piece to the “10 companies” one….but…..were there only ‘5’ good companies? Love the list, and the info..but there have to be at least 5 more good ones who like/support equality.

  • tavdy79

    Japhy, at which point do we start getting worried? Yesterday you thought that Rhide Island was the Bay State, and today you can’t count. That’s six companies you listed up there, not five.

    All the same, thanks for the heads-up!

  • Matt

    To bad Kodak is about ready to bite the financial dust.

  • Sebbe

    @matt – It doesn’t seem like Kodak has handled the digital transition well and still wants to be everything to everybody as far as the products they offer. I presume they will survive in some way shape or form, but it seems the company is rather bloated and will shrink in size.

  • Debby

    Another great list! I would like to see more gay friendly businesses so we can move more of our business to them from the anti-gay companies. I am glad to see Apple at the top of the list seeing that I am typing on one!

  • Bill Perdue

    @Darth Paul: In the social change business, Darth Paul is what we call a managerial level porker.

    His social conscience is pre-Attila.

    Here’s a link to the website of the Campaign for Labor Rights exposé of slavery (yes, it still exists), child labor and other horrors in the shoe and clothing business in South Asia and Indonesia. Most of the companies described are US companies that exported jobs to make obscene profits. http://www.clrlabor.org/alerts/1997/nikey001.html This link is provided for everyone but Darth Paul because he might get off on it and we don’t want that.

    HRC is a front group for the Democrats and not particularly pro-labor. They, like the Democratic (sic) leadership are hand puppets and lap dogs for big business. That’s why they joined the Republicans, Barney Franks Democrats’ and the US Chamber of Commerce in gutting ENDA. That’s why HRC is extinct, although like most dinosaurs they haven’t quite figured out that they’re dead.

    Nike and the others are to be applauded for inclusivess but unless they have unions in place they’re no friends of working people, including GLBT working people.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Glad that Campbells is not on the list of “Soup Nazis”. lol

  • Charles J. Mueller



    “That’s six companies you listed up there, not five.”

    Umm…am I missing something here?

    In his thread heading, Japhy said “6 Great Companies For Your Gay dollar” and…ended by saying “Here are six of the best.

    I also counted a total of 6 companies listed.

    Where exactly, did Japhy say five?

  • echelon

    Whether it’s 5 or 6 is irrelevant.
    Glad to see that you are promoting these companies for their diversity/inclusion. Corporations are the social change agents as evidenced by their support for “No on 8.”

    Sent via my “Mac”


  • Jersey

    Remember when Walgreens Drugs gave a boatload of money to support the gay games and then resisted the right wing noisemakers and continued support. Thought that deserved a mention. They are heroes in my book and I make it a point to shop there.

  • Stevious

    Why stop at 6?

  • Sebbe

    @Charles – It was updated.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Ah. I wasn’t aware of that. That’s what happens when you tune into the tv show after it began. lol

    Thanks for letting me know.

  • kevin (not that one)

    I gots my iMac and Levi’s on, yo.

    When it came time to upgrade, I switched from Dell PC (Michael Dell is a right-wing Mormon) to Mac and it felt like a weight lifted off of my shoulders…in more ways than one.

    I also love Levi’s. True, I was disappointed when they finally moved their last manufacturing facility offshore, but the fact remains that almost all clothing that is sold in the United States is made elsewhere. Of all the companies selling clothing in retail shops in the US, Levi’s has one of the best reputations for treating garment workers fairly, even in countries like China where the concept of human rights is dismal.


    There are brands who manufacture in the US, like American Apparel, but AA is a known union-buster run by one of the sleaziest men alive.

  • KJ

    Apple provided domestic partnership benefits long before it was even remotely cool. Just one reason I love my Mac.

    Add 3M (abrasives, medical, Scotch, Post-It notes, car care products). They have treated me and my partner well.

  • DuPree

    I was surprised not to see IBM included. Ol’ Big Blue has led the march for diversity and equality for decades – from supporting the UNCF in the 1940s and implementing non-discrimination against African Americans a year before Brown Vs. Board of Education to developing far reaching and inclusive GLBT support and policies well before many Fortune 500 companies.

    IBM is routinely named one of the best places to work for the GLBT community.


  • Sebbe

    Luckily Gap Co. is 100%, I would be very upset if I had to stop shopping at Banana Republic!!

  • Sebbe

    @DuPree – I suspect IBM wasn’t listed since not many people buy direct from IBM anymore as consumers. They are listed as one of the 259 companies with a 100 percent score on the CEI though!

  • Paul

    BEST BUY is also extremely GLBT Friendly.

    They offer domestic partner benefits and are active in the Collation for Tax Equity (present federal tax laws made BBY and many others stop offering its employee discount to domestic partners due to the way the tax had to be paid by the employee)

    They have the PRIDE, Employee Business Network in over 15 markets in the US. They have supported many GLBT organizations with donations through the Best Buy Childrens Foundation and it’s Tag Team awards for employees donating time and participation in GLBT events, including Twin Cities Pride, SF Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Long Island Pride, The GLBT Expo in NYC and others.

    They have transgender rights and protections built into their policies and even has a team at the corporate office that does trainings when stores have employees who transition.

    It’s an amazing company!

  • Sebbe

    OMG I hope we don’t have to stop buying products that are not made in America seeing as how almost nothing worth buying is made here. Made in America – crappy cars, crappy planes, processed food for example. I try to buy some stuff from American Apparel, but its not really my thing.

  • Eric

    I really can’t believe that there are only 6? There has to be more that. We have to show that our dollar can fuck some sh!t up if we don’t spend it at your business and help those that provide equal support for LGBT families. I found the other list helpful as well.

  • Thor

    I remeber Hallmark created Gay Marriage Cards and then had the AFA on their back. Did they pull that line of Cards or keep them because if they did props to them.

  • sal

    all of the comments are really interesting,its nice to see,read human rights is not just a “gay “thing but a human (poorly paid and treated workers-straight AND GAY-in third world countries)thing too

  • Casper O


    Dear Poster, as a Design Management student I have to point out the fact that it is most likely extremely hypocritical of you to say so. I will assume that you have audio equipment produced in the same countries with the same laws, as well as thousands of other products in you home that you completely lack information about.

    It is easy to target the big names in the clothing industry, but you should also consider the fact that the heavier industries producing items needing chemicals to be manufactured also use underpaid workers but in an even more hazardous environment.

    You might see yourself as enlightened, and you do have a point, but you are, as long as you are part of a consumer society, most likely just as bad as your Nike/Levi’s wearing neighbor, the only difference is that someone pointed those two companies out to you.

  • Jim

    I wish you’d included some more surprising ones (for example, Campbell’s….that is frakkin’ rad of them!). Apple? Google? That’s great and all, but like, duh.

    Still, overall, love seeing lists like this.

  • Jaime

    But those jeans make my ass look soooo good!

  • CertainPOV

    Which list should Queerty be on?

    Follow the link to the Kodak story, read all the way to bottom, and see what lovely book selections they have to offer:

    Special offers:

    How homosexuals hoodwinked Supremes

    How the homosexual agenda affects your family

  • Cee

    What a short list.

  • Michael

    Since Campbell’s is on it shouldn’t we have Campbell’s soup as the background instead of Jelly Belly. Or at least Campbell Brown.

  • emmy

    I second Gap Inc. for their inclusion of benefits for employees in same sex relationships.

    How about Air New Zealand?


    What’s wrong with American cars? OK, so I know 100,000 miles isn’t what it used to be, but so far my Atlanta-built Taurus hasn’t even needed new *brakes*, and it’s much more comfortable than the Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen I tried first.

  • Sebbe

    @emmy – The HRC only ranks US based business, although I believe Air New Zealand has an excellent reputation. If you are in New Zealand (or Australia) are you aware of any similar organization that ranks business based in Australia/New Zealand?

    @HYHYBT – American cars? Scary. I don’t even like to ride in an American car never mind buy one. I’ve never owned a non German/Swedish car since I turned 16 and there is a huge difference, specifically in regards to safety. I’ve never owned a Volkswagen, but if you can afford it, the upmarket Swedish/German cars are in a whole different class.

  • Kurt

    Does Nike even have any jobs they have not sent off-shore?

  • BobC562

    @CertainPOV: Uhmmm, the post came from WorldNetDaily, or WorldWingnutDaily which is more appropriate. This article, which clearly disses Kodak’s stance, was written for the right-wing wackos that swallow their snake oil hook, line and sinker. Those two links at the bottom of the page had nothing at all to do with Kodak.

  • Sebbe

    @Kurt – I actually know a few people who work for them in sales/marketing outside of Boston and also a few people who work for New Balance (Corporate Office) which is also located in the city (Brighton). NB is not listed as good or bad, I’m not sure if it is because they are privately held? From what I hear they are pretty decent, of course in Massachusetts they don’t have much choice with our gay rights and mandatory health insurance.

  • Jen

    @Eric: There are many companies that were at least rated at 100%. You should check out the list at HRC, it’s Appendix A of the PDF.

    @kevin (not that one): Dell did make HRC CEI 100% rating list, and has been doing that for five years now according to the PDF. And Wikipedia seems to indicate that he’s Jewish, not a Mormon. The article could be wrong, but I don’t see anything in it to support your claims. Where did you see the information? I’m from the UK, so it’s possible that I could be missing widely known information that is just missing from the article.

  • Sebbe

    I’m not positive but I think it was Rollins the long time CEO of Dell that was the mormon??? I believe he was forced to step down by the board a few years ago. But, again, I’m not positive.

  • Brian Miller

    if you can afford it, the upmarket Swedish/German cars are in a whole different class.


    Saab (“Swedish”) builds cars based on the Chevrolet Cobalt and Malibu platforms and is a (bankrupt) unit of GM.

    Volvo (“Swedish”) builds cars based on the Ford Focus and Ford Fushion and is a unit of Ford.

    God, homos can be pretentious sometimes.

  • Sebbe

    @Brian Miller – How do you explain the difference in safety rating then?

    How about German cars?

  • Francisco

    I got hit on by a gay man at the apple store. he said i could be a model hahaha
    thanks Mr. Gayman @ the apple store for hitting on me and making me feel a little uncomfortable.


  • art

    @POP MUSIC FORUM: umm thats pretty much every company…the bottom of the company workers of any company barely make any while the execs make millions…thats how the world works…r we not supposed to buy anything? and this post is about companies supporting gay thats why they are good its not taking into account anything else

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