The Battle To End All American Battles

HRC v. Wal-Mart

Joe Solmonese won’t be shopping at Wal-Mart this season. He and his Human Rights Campaign gave the budget retail giant an abysmal rating on their corporate equality index:

[HRC] is giving Wal-Mart a red “do not buy” rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Citing Wal-Mart’s refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA’s biggest private employer has “more work to do in furthering equality.” It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.

Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC’s 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack and AutoZone.

No, not AutoZone! Where are we going to get our lube jobs!?

Wal-Mart seems unperturbed by the rating. Says USA Today journo Andrea Stone: “[A] Wal-Mart spokesman says he will not “speculate” on whether the rating would hurt holiday sales.” HRC certainly hopes that it will, telling supporters that Wal-Mart is “moving in reverse on equal treatment of their employees and their gay and lesbian consumers.” Well, the store does cater to a specific American population. We’ll leave it at that.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Target got an 80 out of 100. Just so you know…