Op-ed: Is Burger King Being Hypocritical With LGBT Marketing?

Yes, the "Proud Whopper" ad was nice, but if Burger King's corporate policies aren't actually LGBT-inclusive, is the company just paying lip service?

BY Parker Marie Molloy

July 09 2014 7:00 AM ET

Expedia

In 2012 travel booking outlet Expedia launched an ad featuring a lesbian couple getting married. The tearjerking ad enraged antigay conservative organizations, but touched the hearts of many other viewers.

But how does Expedia measure up?

Expedia finds itself lacking when it comes to transgender employees. According to HRC — which gave Expedia a 90 on the CEI — the company does not yet have gender diversity training or guidelines set up for transitioning employees. And while the company’s insurance does cover hormone replacement therapy, it excludes gender dysphoria-based mental health counseling, medical visits, and transition-related surgeries.

 

The Ones That Got It Right

American Airlines, Marriott, Coca-Cola, Nike, General Mills, Hilton, Google, AT&T, and numerous other organizations have received 100 ratings from HRC on the CEI. These companies have all also engaged in LGBT-centric marketing of their own.

Does this mean these companies are perfect? Absolutely not. Just earlier this year, an AT&T employee in Texas filed a complaint after claiming that he was fired after coming out as transgender.

In other words, policies are great, and advertising campaigns are great, but actions should follow.

 

PARKER MARIE MOLLOY is the founder of Park That Car and works as a freelance writer. She has contributed writing to Rolling Stone, Salon, The Huffington Post, and Talking Points Memo as well as The Advocate. Follow her on Twitter @ParkerMolloy.

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