Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, or you're getting a late start on Hanukkah shopping, retail season has begun. First came Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday and today is Cyber Monday. But before you whip out a credit card for online purchases or head to the mall to brave the hordes looking for a deal, you should know what companies do with the cash you spend.
Some clearly support their LGBT employees and customers, some clearly don't — and then there's a group somewhere in the muddled middle. For those, you'll want to proceed with caution.
NOT THERE: ExxonMobil
The worst company on the entire Corporate Equality Index (an annual list from the Human Rights Campaign of the businesses with the most LGBT-supportive policies) is ExxonMobil. For two consecutive years, the company has scored a -25 out of 100 possible points, which is the lowest score ever received by any corporation. We put ExxonMobil on the cover of The Advocate this year to help draw attention to the company's terrible record. Days later, the company made headlines by extending eligibility for health care plans to the legal spouses of its gay and lesbian employees. But while out doing your holiday shopping, don't line up at these pumps just yet. With the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and subsequent changes to who the federal government considers married, ExxonMobil's old policy had arguably become illegal. The company's shareholders have voted over and over against changing its antidiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That hasn't changed. Meanwhile, Chevron had a perfect score from the HRC in both 2012 and 2013. Shell is a close second with a 95.