Once again and as expected, ExxonMobil shareholders have rejected nondiscrimination protections for LGBT employees, according to the Dallas Voice.
For anyone who is paying attention, chalk this up as yet another indication that we need the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed. We’ve only been waiting since 1994, when ENDA was first introduced. Well, we knew of the need for protections long before that, but we’re very close to 20 years of waiting regarding ENDA. To some, my guess is that employment protections are actually much “scarier” than marriage equality, because the first effects a lot more people, and does so related to money.
From John Wright in the Dallas Voice story, more about the vote by ExxonMobil’s less-than- equality-and-fairness-minded shareholders when they met in Dallas. (emphasis added)
Shareholders voted to reject a resolution, 81 percent to 19 percent, from the New York state comptroller calling for the company’s Board of Directors to add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the oil giant’s EEO policy. The 19 percent support for the resolution reportedly was the lowest ever.
The “lowest ever” … . I just thought that was worth repeating.
George Wong addressed the shareholders on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. He presented the business argument that the company should recruit from and retain the widest possible talent pool. Failure to do that leads to less efficient business operations. Most Fortune 500 companies do have inclusive nondiscrimination policies including most other major oil companies, he said. …
During general comments, no one else supported the nondiscrimination proposal.
“No one else supported” the proposal … . That’s also worth repeating.
This was the 14th year in a row in which an LGBT nondiscrimination resolution has been rejected. ExxonMobil shareholders once again stand for inequality. Or rather, they apparently sit quietly and just wait until it goes away for another year.
I’ll say this one first, and let the quote below be the “repeat”: ExxonMobil should show leadership, not (so it appears to me) hide behind their shareholders.
‘ExxonMobil should not need to be prodded by shareholders into doing the right thing for the company and its employees,’ New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.
At Think Progress Zack Ford adds this:
What makes this year’s vote distinct is that ExxonMobil was sued just last week in Illinois for blatantly engaging in discrimination against a gay candidate, preferring a less qualified candidate over one who openly identified as gay. It was a test run by the group Freedom to Work, which then filed the suit with evidence from the test in hand. ExxonMobil became the first company to ever receive a negative rating from the Human Rights Campaign for not only providing no support for LGBT employees, but advocating against the LGBT community.
Of course, there are those cheering the 81% rejection of LGBT as deserving protection from job discrimination. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins“commended” the shareholders.
“˜While other businesses drift away from their principles or capitulate under pressure, Exxon is putting its stock in something other than political correctness. For the 14th straight (Editorial insertion: ‘straight,’ not queer) year, shareholders voted to maintain their reputation as a company that upholds the commonsense principle that managers should be able to determine what conduct contributes to and what conduct detracts from the effective performance of an employee’s duties.
By “conduct,” Tony, what do you have in mind? What sexual orientation specific “conduct” do you see as “contributing” or “distracting”from “effective performance” of employee duties?
Mr. Perkins has more to say.
“˜The four to one margin against the resolution is a strong indication that the homosexual community’s agenda is not resonating beyond the most liberal states. Exxon is setting a good example for other businesses who think promoting extreme political views is the only away to avoid the strong arm tactics of far left special interests.
This may be a record, or at least a damn straight example, of using multiple code words in a few sentences, including: political correctness, homosexual agenda, liberal, and far left.
So I’ll say it again: we need ENDA.
The Dallas Voice article quotes GetEQUAL TX activist Cd Kirven, who said
… she doesn’t think ExxonMobil will change unless they have to.
“˜I think if the Obama administration decides to get a backbone and stand up for all families and pass an all- inclusive ENDA then I think they’ll be forced to,’ she said.
ENDA probably will be introduced in the Senate this summer, possibly July. Of course it has little to no chance of passing in the House, but it’s still important that it be discussed. For one thing, good nubmers of people don’t realize that LGBTs don’t have the protections ENDA would provide.
And here’s where leadership can play a role in helping move things along. Obama got tons of press and credit (from supporters, obviously) when he finally indicated he’d completed his evolution on marriage equality. A logical step would now be to “stand up” for ENDA, something he’s already indicated he supports. That doesn’t seem likely, though, since he won’t even implement an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting. That’s making a lot of LGBT and supporters quite unhappy. Probably 81% of ExxonMobil shareholders think that’s just fine. I’ll bet, though, that Mr. Perkins still won’t be happy, and probably will see Obama’s inaction as some kind of politically correct, homosexual agenda, liberal, far left moral failure.