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ExxonMobil
shareholder vote not enough to ban antigay
discrimination

ExxonMobil
shareholder vote not enough to ban antigay
discrimination

A resolution to ban discrimination at ExxonMobil based on sexual orientation failed at the oil giant's annual meeting May 30 in Dallas. The proposal--which 37.7% of shareholders approved, falling short of the necessary majority--was presented by the New York City Employees' Retirement System and the city's Fire Department Pension Fund.

This is the seventh resolution New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson has filed to the ExxonMobil board requesting the policy change on behalf of the two funds. According to the statement, shareholder support for the proposal has increased in each of the seven years; it was supported by 34.6% of shareholders in 2006 and 29.4% in 2005.

"While it is heartening that a number of shareholders agree that ExxonMobil must take steps to provide equal protections for all employees, it is extremely troubling and downright unacceptable that ExxonMobil has strongly resisted the call," Thompson said in a statement. "We must remain steadfast in our efforts to bring about change and urge ExxonMobil to establish equal rights in the workplace."

The Unitarian Church, one of the resolution's cosponsors, presented the measure at the meeting in November 2006. The Pension Fund and the Employees' Retirement System have a combined $2 billion, or 25 million shares, invested in the oil behemoth.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, ExxonMobil has been left behind in protecting their LGBT employees, as industry competitors Amerada Hess, BP, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and Sunoco have all drafted policies doing so. ExxonMobil is also the only Fortune 50 company that has failed to write sexual orientation protections into its primary nondiscrimination policy. (The Advocate)

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