25 ‘Pride Supporting’ Companies Actually Donated $10m To Anti-LGBTQ+ Politicians
It’s Pride Month, and many companies in the US and beyond are looking to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Although this sort of public support is encouraged, it really should be put into practice all year round, and it’s important to know what goes on behind the scenes during the other eleven months of the year.
Now, a new study has found that 25 ‘Pride supporting’ companies – including CVS, AT&T, Walmart and Comcast – have donated $10 million to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians, in stark contrast to their LGBTQ+ friendly image.
An investigation by the newsletter Popular Information has found that, since 2019, a total of 25 major corporations have spent more than $10 million supporting members of Congress who are rated zero on the latest Congressional scorecard from prominent US LGBTQ+ rights organisation, Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
These same companies were also found to have given hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donations to US state legislators, who have this year backed anti-trans legislation.
However, despite this, many of these companies have been rated 100% on the HRC 2020 Corporate Equality Index.
This index assesses workplace policies and ‘public commitment to the LGBTQ community,’ but does not take into account any political donations, meaning such contradictions go under the radar.
For example, CVS – which scored perfectly on the HRC index – has shown support for sponsors of anti-trans legislation in the states of Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee via its corporate political action committee.
Comcast and AT&T have both donated more than $1 million to anti-gay politicians over the course of the past two years, with Comcast donating $2,000 since 2019 to Randy Fine, the Florida Representative who co-sponsored anti-trans legislation to exclude trans girls from participating in school athletics.
Despite this, Comcast has featured the rainbow flag on its social media platforms, and has also launched a ‘virtual Pride World,’ complete with events, floats, flags and an employee Pronoun Guide.
AT&T has also used social media to signal support for LGBTQ+ causes, tweeting, ‘We can #TURNUPTHELOVE for LGBTQ+ youth together.’
An HRC spokesperson told Popular Information that the company doesn’t ‘issue public comments about cases like this’, with a recent press release stating that criteria ‘are reviewed annually and periodically change, raising the bar to reflect best practices for LGBTQ inclusion and to drive companies to improve upon their commitment to the community’.
According to Popular Information, the criteria that will be used to measure companies for the 2022 index will also not take political donations into account.
You can find out more about the full list of companies here.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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