A Resounding No: ExxonMobil Votes Against Its LGBT Employees

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2012 7:01 PM ET

ExxonMobil today voted against protecting LGBT employees from discrimination, as it has done time and time before.

Some 80% of shareholders voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the company's anti-discrimination policy, according to the Dallas Voice, which shared photos of protesters from GetEqual rallying against the company. The company has voted against the protections every year since 1999, when Exxon merged with Mobil and stripped away rules that had been in place.

Although ExxonMobil tops the Fortune 500 list, it is a notoriously poor place to work for LGBT people, at least according to rankings provided annually by the Human Rights Campaign. For the first time ever, HRC gave companies negative scores in its 2012 rankings and slapped ExxonMobil with a -25 in its Corporate Equality Index.

In previous years, ExxonMobil had scored straight zeroes.

By comparison, competitor Chevron has received a perfect score of 100 from HRC, making it the top-ranked company in the oil and gas category.

 “As perhaps the largest corporation in the country, ExxonMobil has a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen; sadly they have fallen far short," said HRC president Joe Solmonese in a statement after the vote. He noted hopefully, though, that shareholders could still be disregarded by company leadership. “The shareholder resolution to add sexual orientation and gender identity to ExxonMobil’s EEO policy was a nonbinding referendum and the company still has the chance to do the right thing.”

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