The Human Rights Campaign just released its 2015 Corporate Equality Index, which rates hundreds of companies on their friendliness to LGBTs. That’s handy for a whole host of reasons, whether you’re job hunting or trying to figure out where to invest. But at this time of year, it’s especially convenient for holiday-shopping.
We’ve combed through the report and compiled a list of the gay-friends stores where you should be spending tons of cash, and the homophobic stores you should avoid at all costs.
No big surprise here, but San Franciscan Levi Strauss & Co is at the top of the list, with a perfect score. Macy’s and Nike are also perfect-scorers, followed by Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, and Aeropostale with nearly-perfect ranking. At the bottom of the list is L.L. Bean — you weren’t seriously considering buying from them anyway, though, were you? L.L. Bean has a couple of problems, ranging from failure to offer trans-inclusive health care and a lack of public commitment to equality.
And then there’s The Jones Group, owner of Nine West (among other labels). They aren’t terrible — their score is 60 — but among their problems is a failure to offer cultural diversity training.
The lowest score came from Hanover Direct, which is baffling, because that’s the company that owns International Male and Undergear! Something’s screwy there. They sell to flamboyant homosexuals but barely offer any benefits to the queers they employ? Crazy.
At the Mall
This is a big category, so we’re just going to pick some of our favorites from the list. Go read the full CEI report if you want the exhaustive listing.
Perfect scorers: Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Office Depot, Sears and Target.
High-scorers: Mattel, Tiffany, CB2, Hallmark, Williams-Sonoma and L’Oreal.
Low-scorers: Harry & David, RadioShack, Men’s Warehouse and Kohl’s.
Good news: all major airlines have super-progressive policies when it comes to queer employees! Alaska, American, Jetblue, United and Virgin all got perfect scores of 100, with Delta, Southwest and US Air close behind at 90. (All three lost points by failing to offer trans-inclusive health coverage.)
And if you’re thinking about a cruise instead of a flight this winter, go ahead and book with Royal Caribbean. They scored 80.
You probably already knew that Apple loves the gays. Dell ranked highly, too, along with some computer companies that aren’t likely to appear on your holiday list (unless you’re planning on getting someone a Xerox copier for Kwanzaa). Adobe and Microsoft nabbed scores of 100 as well. Texas Instruments and NVIDIA scored fairly well, so go ahead and get that graphing calculator and gaming machine.
Low-scorers: Acer, which makes PCs; and Seagate, which makes hard drives. McAfee, the virus-scanning company, had a dismal score of 25, due in part to lousy policies on equal employment and partner benefits. So when you go home and fix your parents’ computers, don’t install McAfee software. And if your parents have a McAfee subscription, cancel it. (It’s worth mentioning that McAfee was purchased not long ago by Intel, which scored 100, so maybe that low score will change next year.)
It pains us to say this, but Polaroid scored just 30. The company does almost nothing good for LGBTs, aside from a publicity gimmick with Lady Gaga.
Go ahead and give gift certificates to AMC theaters — they got a perfect score. So did Sony and Disney, so buy those Blu-rays with confidence. Nextflix got a score of 80 — they lost points due to a lack of spousal benefits, cultural competency training, and employee groups — but that’s still not bad.
Shockingly, News Corp scored just 15. So if you needed another reason to hate Fox News, there you go.
If you’re buying from a major online retailer, you probably don’t have to worry. Groupon, eBay, Overstock and Amazon all ranked super-high. So did AOL, but we’re not sure what to do about that since what do you even buy from AOL?
Liberty Interactive got a score of zero. You might not recognize the name, but you probably know their properties: don’t do business with Evite, Gifts.com, QVC and Proflowers. The Home Shopping Network, on the other hand, got a score of 85.
If you have a choice between FedEx and UPS, go brown. The scores are close — 90 for UPS and 85 for FedEx. The only difference is that FedEx doesn’t do quite as well when it comes to spousal benefits.
Mining and Metals
Trying to figure out where to buy your raw iron ore? Alcoa scored 100, while Newmont Mining Corporation for a 60.
This category probably doesn’t apply to your holiday shopping. We’re just being thorough.