Scroll To Top

Did Best Buy stop funding LGBTQ+ groups because of a conservative cabal?

Best Buy Store Customer Service Checkout

The details were revealed in a recent SEC filing.

The electronics box store Best Buy is under fire after it appeared to alter its charitable donations to LGBTQ+ advocacy and support groups at the behest of a group of conservative stockholders, NBC News reported.

The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) as a shareholder submitted a proposed proxy statement to be circulated at the next annual meeting of other shareholders. The statement disparaged gender-affirming care for minors and questioned the retailer's charitable support for LGBTQ+ causes NCPPR found objectionable.

“Why are Best Buy shareholders funding the proliferation of an ideology seeking to mutilate the reproductive organs of children before they reach puberty?” Ethan Peck of NCPPR asked in a letter to Best Buy last December.

The letter and additional information were contained in a 49-page letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The letter included a proposed statement questioning Best Buy’s support to groups working to provide gender-affirming care to trans minors, support for LGBTQ+ youth at risk for death by suicide, and other LGBTQ+ causes that the group finds objectionable.

“This contentious and vast disagreement between radical gender theory activists and the general public has nothing to do with Best Buy selling electronics,” the group said in a letter to Best Buy last December.

The group contended that such allyship (which it labels “partisanship”) has caused harm to other companies, most notably Bud Light, Target, and Disney.

“Following Bud Light’s embrace of partisanship, its revenue fell $395 million in North America compared to a year prior,” the group said in its letter to Best Buy. “This amounts to roughly 10 percent of its revenue in the months following its leap into contentious politics. Target’s market cap fell over $15 billion amid backlash for similar actions. And Disney stock fell 44 percent in 2022 – its worst performance in nearly 50 years – amid its decision to put extreme partisan agendas ahead of parents’ rights.”

Attached emails show the group was willing to drop the proposed statement if Best Buy ended its partnerships with and contributions to The Trevor Project, Our Gay History in 50 States, GLAAD, GLSEN, GenderCool, Sage, It Gets Better, Centrelink LGBTQ centers, and others.

In one email dated January 17, Ethan Peck of NCPPR calls the groups “predatory butchers” and he questioned the need to contribute or associate the company with such causes.

Peck also said he understood it might take longer to sever ties with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) due to its “political clout” but said Best Buy was “on a leash” if it continued such contributions and commitments.

In response, Marina Rizzo, an associate corporate counsel with Best Buy, assured NCPPR they had ceased contributions to the disputed organizations, but Peck demanded to see proof. Rizzo also said in the email Best Buy would look at the contributions of individual employee organizations to ensure they did not violate company policy.

“As discussed during our call, we do allow our individual employee organizations, including our Military ERG, Conservative employee interest group, and our PRIDE group, among many other groups, some discretion to directly support organizations of their choosing,” Rizzo wrote on February 5. “That said, any such contributions would be screened to ensure they do not advocate or support the causes or agendas you have identified as concerning.”

Peck declined to share specifics when reached by NBC News, but did say they singled out the groups cited for very specific reasons.

Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ advocates decried the move. Eric Bloem, vice president of programs and corporate advocacy at HRC, described the filing as “very concerning” to NBC News.

“Any company that uses their Corporate Equality Index distinction as cover while working with fringe groups and bad actors does not reflect true LGBTQ+ allyship in the corporate space,” Bloem told NBC News via email.

Despite the recently discovered information contained with the SEC filing, Best Buy said it remains committed to its LGBTQ+ allyship.

“At Best Buy, we strongly believe in an inclusive work environment with a culture of belonging where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to thrive,” Best Buy spokesperson Carly Charlson said in a statement provided to NBC News. “This commitment is evident through our longstanding and continuing support of organizations like HRC, which has recognized us as one of the best places to work for the LGBTQIA+ community for the past 18 years.”

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Donald Padgett