ExxonMobil Shareholders Reject LGBT Nondiscrimination Measure

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(image The Dallas Voice)

This should come as a shock to absolutely nobody: oil giant ExxonMobil's shareholders have once again voted down a proposal that would have provided employment discrimination protections to the company's LGBT employees.

The Dallas Voice reports on the outcome of ExxonMobil's yearly shareholders meeting in downtown Dallas:

Shareholders voted to reject a resolution, 81 percent to 19 percent, from the New York state comptroller calling for the company’s Board of Directors to add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the oil giant’s EEO policy. The 19 percent support for the resolution reportedly was the lowest ever.

George Wong addressed the shareholders on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. He presented the business argument that the company should recruit from and retain the widest possible talent pool. Failure to do that leads to less efficient business operations. Most Fortune 500 companies do have inclusive nondiscrimination policies including most other major oil companies, he said.

During general comments, no one else supported the nondiscrimination proposal.

ExxonmobilExxonMobil has the lowest score ever received by a company in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, meriting a -25 rating for rescinding LGBT discrimination protections and cancelling domestic partner health benefits when Exxon acquired Mobil in 1999.  Other oil companies, such as Chevron, BP, Shell and Spectra, have received scores of 85 or higher.

Last week, Freedom to Work, an LGBT rights organization that focuses on employment issues, filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights alleging that the company engages in discriminatory hiring practices.  In its piece on the complaint, the Huffington Post explained the suit's basic argument:

Jennifer Priston and Michelle Caland are similar in many respects. They both live in Springfield, Ill., attended the same high school and graduated from the same local community college in 2011 after majoring in business administration.

Caland and Priston are also both the inventions of activists, and their fake resumes are now the fodder for a complaint filed against Exxon Mobil, a company gay-rights advocates say is the largest Fortune 500 company to continue to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender employees.

On Dec. 4, Freedom to Work, a gay-rights organization that focuses on workplace discrimination, submitted fake resumes for each character for an administrative assistant position at Exxon's Patoka, Ill., office. Only "Caland" got a request for a follow-up interview and activists contend in a complaint filed this week that it's because of one particular item on her resume that set her apart from 'Priston:" Caland volunteered as a secretary for a feminist group, while Priston served as a treasurer for a local chapter of the Victory Fund, a gay-rights organization.

Comments

  1. Marc C says

    Who cares? It’s ExxonMobil and if you are still working for them or purchasing from them, you deserve what you are getting. This one’s a no-brainer. And HRC corporate equality index is a joke with ZERO teeth to it.

  2. Shelly says

    The “teeth” would be provided by a well-publicized, official boycott. Besides those motivated enough to seek out and consult the HRC Corporate Equality Index and those who follow lgbtq news in general, I doubt many are even aware of the depth of this company’s homophobia.

  3. MickleSt says

    Well, how about this? Shouldn’t those of us who can afford it run out and buy shares of ExxonMobil? I’m surprised that this was even put up before shareholders as an issue, rather than simply a company human resources policy decision. But if that’s the way they want it, then screw holding “ethical” stocks. Let’s band together and buy enough to make our voices really heard there. Capitalism sucks sometimes, but if that’s the way to effect change, then let’s do it. Keep up the protests and pressure, but also work from within.

  4. Mike B. says

    there’s no way to buy enough stocks to do squat about exxon mobil. the only practical thing is to dump them, boycott them, and tell your friends to do the same.

  5. David Hearne says

    Kiwi – Then you would need to explain how it was that Mobil Oil, an enormous refiner, wholesaler, and retailer offered domestic partner benefits and had nondiscrimination policy in place long before many other major corporations.

    Chase Bank, which covertly drives up the price of everyone’s gasoline through their futures market (officially in London, actually in Atlanta) and is as big a player in oil as Exxon, is consistently rated as one of the best employers for gay people.

    Exxon is clearly out of step and dominated by people who are hostile to gay rights or simply don’t care. It does not define the industry.

  6. David Hearne says

    Simply don’t get your gas from Exxon or Mobil. Done.

    Posted by: Andy

    There is a limit of practicality on that. I boycotted Exxon/Mobil for several years after the acquisition of Mobil. IN that time, all the independent gas stations around here were purchased by people I don’t want to do business with for bigger reasons than employee benefits. So now I buy from Exxon because it’s the only American owned gas station in my town.

  7. Becky says

    The votes on this issue take place every year and were actually moving in our direction. We were on track to win.

    Then suddenly, support dropped and is still dropping. What happened? Why was gay civil rights defeated? The same reason it is defeated in Congress. Gay advocates were bullied and browbeaten into adding “gender identity and expression” to the proposal. This was presented as an all or nothing package. Gay civil rights had to die because the most important thing in the world is the workplace bathroom selection issues of heterosexual cross-dressers and heterosexual transsexuals. And it is now verboten to fight for gay workers unless you deal with all manner of crossdresser demands at the very same time and in the very same proposal.

    Well guess what? Exxon shareholders might have been fine with prohibiting discrimination against LGB employees, but at the same time, they may not want to deal with whether the company’s female employees will be forced to pee and shower next to dudes or whether the company might be be forced to hire a bearded man in a dress for their corporate receptionist.

    That is why 81% voted against, and I don’t blame them.

  8. NorthoftheBorder says

    umm.. the fact that a company can actually do this in America, is more of a testament to the failure of American employment and human rights laws than anything else.

  9. JakeAZ says

    To “Becky”:

    Eff ewe and the transphobic horse that rode in on you.

    We could maybe have a civil discussion about whether it’s prudent to seek a whole loaf or three-quarters (GBL or add the T) without resorting to nonsense disgusting language like “bearded man in a dress” and other cross-dresser references.

    If all you transpeople haters had your way, *I* would be forced to be that “bearded man in a dress” or “pantsuit” if I were forced to dress appropriately to my assigned birth sex. I am a GAY transman, and I dare anyone to prevent me from using any men’s room anywhere. I daresay the standard issue women would not appreciate my presence in THEIR restroom, nor would I be comfortable being there.

    Everyone can hide their homohatred behind their transhatred and catch a pass because of ppl like you. “Oh, I would have supported it if it was just YOU, but those awful icky people …”

    Sounds like early 70s feminism and NOW rejecting lesbians. Hmmm?

    Jake
    Phoenix

  10. Randy says

    I think I purchased maybe one tank of gas from ExxonMobil in the last decade or so.

    They don’t want my business, so I don’t give it to them.

  11. says

    Um, no, Becky, the problem wasn’t the T, the problem is Exxon. Many many other corporations have no problem supporting LGBT equality, Exxon does. It’s special that way. And out of step with corporate America, which is why anyone (who isn’t a gay-obsessed moron like “Krajckers”) should drive right by their stations, as many of us have for years since their consistent bigotry is old news.

  12. Craig says

    I’ve boycotted Exxon since the Valdez disaster and started boycotting Mobil when Exxon bought them and rescinded Mobil’s LGBT protections.

  13. Rick says

    Thank you, Becky, for stating the truth. All the other major oil companies have non-discrimination policies when it comes to sexual orientation, bu, contrary to Ernies
    s claim, NOT according to “gender identity”. So we see, yet again, in this instance, that the rights of millions of gay people are being held hostage by activist groups bowing to pressure from gender-confused freaks who are not even gay.

    ENDA, the initiative in Anchorage, this vote……go down the list and you see the same phenomenon. And one should stress that this was a SHAREHOLDER vote, not a management decision, which means that it was a reflection of the opinion of the general population.

    Which just underscores that the entire concept of “gender-non-conformity” is poisonous and is certain to alienate people in the social mainstream…..and until gay people reject that ideology and return our movement to what it traditionally was about and still should be about–plainly and simply, the eradication of homophobia–then losses like this will continue to pile up.

    Indeed, the continuing success in the marriage equality arena contrasting so dramatically by the losses that we are suddenly seeing in the employment non-discrimination area is due to the fact that the marriage issue is devoid of the mud that gender-confused trans freaks being into it, since marriage equality laws don’t include them.

    And the filth coming out of the mouth of “Jake” just demonstrates what low-life trash these gender-confused freaks generally are.

  14. Becky says

    @JakeAZ:

    “We could maybe have a civil discussion about whether it’s prudent to seek a whole loaf or three-quarters (GBL or add the T) without resorting to nonsense disgusting language like “bearded man in a dress” and other cross-dresser references.”

    Gay people, or LGB people, are whole in and of themselves. We are not 3/4 of a loaf. We are not incomplete without the presence of heterosexual crossdressers and transsexuals. We are a full, complete and beautiful loaf. Do not forget that.

    “LGBT” is a political contrivance designed to co-opt the LGB civil rights movement and to turn it to other causes, as this incident illustrates. Whether those other causes are worthy or not, this is still a hijacking in progress.

    As for my reference to bearded men in dresses sitting at the reception desk, I was not being uncivil. This is precisely what the opposition focuses on and it is precisely the sort of absurd requirement that vexes the corporate managers and shareholders at a major company like Exxon Mobil. Yet, the scenario itself is covered by “gender expression”. Trans activists cannot draft these proposals in a broad manner and then object that it is “nonsense” or “disgusting” when someone takes the language at face value. If trans activists wanted to limit the proposal to transsexuals who have transitioned or who are in the process of transitioning, they could have drafted the proposal to say that. But they didn’t want to limit it. If you write a proposal that covers bearded men in dresses, people are going to talk about bearded men in dresses and vote no. Why LGB workers (including trans workers who also happen to be LGB) have to pay the price for this nonsense is beyond me. It needs to stop.

  15. cahbf says

    Ive always found it off that XOM gets a 0 rating despite the fact that they actually do prohibit sexual orientation discrimination (just not explicitly), have lgbt outreach, gay employees are happy, etc. xom gets the same score as a company that will fire you if you’re gay? let’s remember, hrc, filed briefs trying to stop the gay marriage cases from going forward, they fought it tooth and nail, because they are not a gay rights organization but a liberal pac supporting liberal causes generally, they use gay people to advance liberal causes that have nothing to do with gay rights (I am gay and liberal, btw). i think they attack XOM for publiicity and nothing more, and frankly while i dont love XOM by any means it does not deserve a 0 score from hrc.

  16. Bill says

    @BearlyBob: the reason shareholders got to vote on it is that some shareholders probably put it on the ballot, while the management didn’t want to bother.

    That it lost doesn’t mean much about the shareholders – the proxy sheets they get sometimes have an option to follow the board of director’s recommendations, and quite a few people check that (if they bother to send the form in at all) rather than vote on each issue. You’ll get to vote if you own one share of stock, but it is “one dollar, one vote”, not “one person, one vote.” Most people don’t have the time to study the issues in detail for each company they might own some stock in.

  17. Dan says

    Two comments…

    One, Exxon has 4.6 BILLION SHARES of stock so the thought that we can change this by our votes is incorrect. The companies stock is around $90 per share and the company valuation is over $400 Billion.

    Two, I wish things were different but Becky is correct in her assertions about the complications we add to the equality issue when adding gender identity to the demands. The reality is that Human Resources and Corporate executives I know have told me this is negatively impacting the rights of GLB people and may result in some corporations dropping off the list of those who support us. When that happens maybe people will wake up and realize this needs to be done in smaller steps and that an incredible minority is diverting the focus of the equality we all seek.

    Call me a hater if you wish but the truth is that I was fired 21 years ago for being gay. I believe that is much rarer today because straights have realized we are no different from them. Straights have not reached that point with transpeople. I am not asking you to wait 20 years because once equality happens for gays your wait will be minimal because we are truly your best allies.

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