Ho ho ho or whatever greeting you choose this season, but the holidays are upon us. For the majority of Americans, that means spending a shit load of money on stuff nobody needs or wants. Still, shopping is a patriotic duty in this country so let the games begin!
Of course, for LGBT shoppers and the people who love them, it’d be nice to have a list of corporations who are naughty and nice when it comes to equality.
Thankfully, that exists. The Human Rights Campaign recently released its Corporate Equality Index (www.hrc.org/cei) and hundreds of companies you know and love earned a 100-percent equality rating.
So if you drive your Ford over to Barnes & Noble for a book, hit Macy’s for a holiday sweater, stock up on staplers at Office Depot, get condoms at Walgreens and grab some Starbucks on the way home, you’d be having a pretty gay-friendly shopping day!
Or you could go to Bed Bath & Beyond for a salad spinner, stock up on balls at Dick’s Sporting Goods, get lumber at Lowe’s, hit Big Lots for some slippers, get cheap holiday decorations at Dollar Tree and smoke a Marlboro on your way home, and your spending spree is not very LGBT-merry. (Also, you should quit smoking.)
Now, a low score on HRC’s CEI doesn’t necessarily mean a company is anti-LGBT. But the higher a company’s score, the better that company is to its LGBT employees. And considering that, in many states across the country you can get fired just for being LGBT, working for a company that values equality goes a long way.
Of course, some folks think the CEI is a bunch of baloney. Like Peter Sprigg of the virulently anti-LGBT Family Research Council.
“I’m not sure that all of these policies have been adopted because these companies think that it helps to operate their businesses better,” he told the American Family News Network. “I think it’s more of a matter of bowing to political correctness and, in some cases, actually wanting to avoid the threat of being accused of bigotry. So, I question the sincerity of some of these policies.”
In other words, companies are just pretending to be LGBT-friendly because they don’t want to look like meanies. It has nothing to do with the bottom line.
“If they want to hire homosexuals and transgender employees, that is certainly their business,” Sprigg adds.
Aww, how generous. He’s implying that he wouldn’t hire such people, but acknowledging that he’s not the boss of the world, which is probably very difficult for him.
“But when you get to the point of trying to impose that sort of policy on others, on the country through our legal system or even on suppliers and contractors and so forth, then I think it’s gone too far,” continues Sprigg. “I think we should stick with the free market and let the free market operate.”
Yes, heaven forbid that the disease of equality spread throughout the land. Keep it in the board room, boys!
Seriously, though. I am not a business major, but I have sold a couple of things on eBay (which has a CEI score of 100, by the way), but know that corporations don’t do things that don’t make them money. It’s all about the bottom line. If shareholders ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
So if more and more companies are scoring 100 on HRC’s equality index, it’s because equality is good for business. Not because HRC is strong-arming Fortune 500 companies to make nice with the gays. So Sprigg can hope this is some kind of fad, but the smart money is on equality.