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December 10, 2007

Buying for Equality

Today is Human Rights Day, which just means that it is anniversary of the day the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Rights, in 1948. It declared that the "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

We've already given you suggestions for eco-friendly shopping, but there a lot of other issues to think about when you spend your hard-earned savings this month. So in honor of this being Human Rights Day, we thought it'd be the perfect time to offer you something from the Human Rights Campaign:

Every day, you make decisions about whom to support in corporate America. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Buying for Equality can help you easily support companies that support equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Ratings in Buying for Equality are based on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual report card, the Corporate Equality Index. A record 195 companies scored 100 percent on this year’s report, which is a significant increase from the 138 companies that earned a perfect score last year. Every day, from enhanced domestic partner benefits to transgender inclusion in non-discrimination policies, we are seeing a revolution in the American workplace.

Last year, more than 250,000 people used Buying for Equality to make informed choices about their purchases. This year, you can do your part to support fair-minded businesses by requesting or downloading Buying for Equality 2008.

We think this Buyer's Guide is a great idea because it's always nice to know who and what you're supporting. Especially during the holidays when people do so much shopping. So how does this guide work?

Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to 100 based on whether or not they have policies that support GLBT people. These include anti-discrimination protections, domestic partner benefits, diversity training, transgender wellness benefits and advertising practices.

Each business/brand is assigned one of three colors based on its score in our report: green, yellow or red.

Green (80-100): Businesses/brands with one of our higher scores. Consumers should make every effort to support these companies.

Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace, but where there is still progress to be made.

Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that have more work to do in furthering equality. If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.

HRC Sponsor Human Rights Campaign National Corporate Partners
The support of these companies is directly tied to the Human Rights Campaign’s success in ensuring equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. All HRC National Corporate Partners are required to maintain a CEI score of 85 or above.

We were happy to see some of our favorite companies in the green... such as Amazon.com, Target, Ford, Delta Airlines, UPS, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and even McDonald's (we know, it's horrible, but so good... and at least their GLBT-friendly).

Some of them made us chuckle a bit. For example, Mattel (makers of Barbie) and Disney (makers of everything princess) are both gay-friendly. And even Merck is in the green. Who knew? Viacom - which brings us MTV as well as Logo, the gay and lesbian network - obviously scored high, while Bravo, which has some of the more gay-friendly shows on television today is only yellow (as part of General Electric).

Some big companies to avoid:
  • Walmart (just another reason to hate them, right?)
  • Toys "R" Us
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Kellogg
  • Nestle Purina
  • Dow Jones
This is just a sampling, so please do checkout the guide for yourself. And obviously, there are other pros and cons for each of these companies that may or may not be more important to than how GLBT-friendly they are. We're not necessarily saying you should boycott all of the companies in the red. But it's definitely good to know where they stand and it doesn't hurt to let these corporations know that this might influence the way you shop.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Yay Kraft! They're a good company at heart, but as the years go on, they are sacrificing more and more to the almighty altar of growth. Unfortunately, there are so many companies doing it that way these days.