Fed Up With Exxon? Pump Here Instead

By Camille Beredjick

Originally published on Advocate.com July 19 2012 4:00 AM ET

Shareholders of oil and gas giant ExxonMobil voted earlier this year overwhelmingly against protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They've been doing that for years.

Despite being the top Fortune 500 company, the corporation is notorious for failing to provide for its LGBT employees. So how do you show ExxonMobil you disagree with its exclusionary practices? One way is by pressing for a boycott, though activists warn it rarely produces the desired consequences. Another way is by simply taking your business elsewhere — no picket signs needed.

"One of the best parts of a capitalist economy is that consumers have choices," said Fred Sainz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which evaluates the inclusiveness of all oil and gas companies annually. "Consumers should rightly show their disgust for ExxonMobil’s callous disregard for our families by not patronizing the company’s products."

HRC's Corporate Equality Index rates major U.S. businesses on criteria that determine how well employers maintain safe and equal work environments for their LGBT employees. Here's how ExxonMobil ranked in the 2012 index, followed by (much better) ratings for other major gas companies.

 

ExxonMobil Corp.
Scoring an abysmal -25 on HRC's Corporate Equality Index — the lowest possible score — ExxonMobil claims that LGBT protections are "unnecessary" and already covered under other company policy.

No - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
No - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
No - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
No - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
No - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
No - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
No - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
Yes - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: -25

Chevron Corp.
Chevron is the only company in the oil and gas division of HRC's index that earned a perfect 100 rating in 2012, and it's the only oil company to offer transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage up to par with HRC's standards.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
Yes - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
Yes - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
Yes - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
Yes - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
Yes - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
Yes - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 100

BP America Inc.
A past perfect scorer, BP was a founding corporate partner of the job search site LGBT Career Link and regularly participates in Pride events.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
Yes - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
1/2 - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
Yes - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
Yes - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
Yes - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 85

Shell Oil Co.
Shell received a perfect rating on the CEI in 2011, but in 2012, the criteria began requiring at least one transgender-inclusive health insurance plan "that removes transgender exclusions and acknowledges the WPATH Standards of Care for treatment," something Shell is still missing.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
Yes - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
1/2 - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
Yes - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
Yes - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
Yes - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 85

Spectra Energy Corp.
Spectra also received a perfect rating on the CEI in 2011 but didn't follow through with the transgender-inclusive health insurance options required for a perfect score in 2012.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
Yes - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
1/2 - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
Yes - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
Yes - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
Yes - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 85

ConocoPhillips
When Conoco and Phillips Petroleum merged in August 2002, the new oil company briefly rescinded a policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. HRC got word of the change the following February, and ConocoPhillips reinstated sexual orientation protections six days later.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
No - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
Yes - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
1/2 - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
Yes - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
Yes - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
No - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 55

Marathon Oil Corp.
Coming in with a CEI rating of just 15, Marathon might not be LGBT consumers' first choice — but it still fares better than Exxon.

Yes - Prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation (15 points)
No - Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression (15 points)
No - Offers partner health/medical insurance (15 points)
No - Has parity across other "soft" benefits for partners (10 points)
(Half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
No - Offers transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage (10 points)
No - Firm-wide organizational competency programs (10 points)
No - Has employer-supported employee resource group OR firm-wide diversity council (10 points)
(Half credit if would support ERG if employees express interest)
No - Positively engages the external LGBT community (15 points)
(Partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)
No - Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records (-25 points)

Total: 15

Other oil and gas companies and their 2012 CEI scores:

Baker Hughes Inc.: 15
Cameron International Corp.: 0
El Paso Corp: 15
Enbridge Energy Partners: 15
FMC Technologies Inc.: 15
Frontier Oil Corp.: 0
Halliburton Co.: 15
Hess Corp.: 15
Holly Corp.: 0
Kinder Morgan Inc.: 15
Murphy Oil: 15
National Oilwell Varco Inc.: 15
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.: 0
Smith International Inc.: 15
Sunoco Inc.: 15
Tesoro Corp.: 15
Valero Energy Corp.: 15
Western Refining Inc.: 0
World Fuel Services: 30