Déjà vu: ExxonMobil rejects nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers for 14th consecutive year

Support for the measure hit an all-time low, with only 19 percent of shareholders voting to endorse it

By Katie McDonough
Published May 30, 2013 1:42AM (UTC)
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ExxonMobil shareholders voted Wednesday morning to reject a nondiscrimination policy for LGBT workers, making this the 14th time the company has rejected such protections for prospective and current employees.

The Dallas Voice reports:

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...

ExxonMobil is the only company to ever receive a negative score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses according to policies and practices affecting the LGBT community. ExxonMobil rescinded nondiscrimination protections for gay employees, as well as domestic partner health benefits, following a merger with Mobil in 1999.

It marks the 14th consecutive year in which ExxonMobil shareholders have voted down an LGBT nondiscrimination resolution. Last week, the national group Freedom to Work sued the Irving-based oil giant for alleged anti-gay discrimination in Illinois.

In a statement, Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox called the result of the Wednesday vote "sadly unsurprising”:


The company continues to incorrectly assert that it provides employment protections and an equitable workplace for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees, and Exxon’s shareholders appear to believe that the company’s statement on a web page provides sufficient protections. Even after I led a team last summer to meet with two Exxon vice presidents at their global headquarters in Irving and explained in person how the web statements fall short of true employment protections, the company refuses to budge. Exxon says it would comply with an executive order mandating LGBT employment protections for federal contractors if and/or when one is issued, and it is looking more and more likely that will be the only way to get the company to treat all of its employees equitably.

"The Center remains committed to working with Exxon on this issue, but the ball remains in their court," Cox added.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Enda Exxonmobil Gay Rights Labor Rights Lgbt Rights Workers' Rights