For Immediate Release – August 30, 2012
RECORD 483 (96.6%) of FORTUNE 500 PROVIDE SEXUAL ORIENTATION PROTECTION
Gov. Romney’s Equivocation Out of Step with Business, Congressman Ryan and the Public
Philadelphia – Equality Forum, a national and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization reported that a record 483 (96.6%) of the 2012 FORTUNE 500 Companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment non-discrimination policies.
In 2007, Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan voted in favor of the unsuccessful attempt to amend the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to include sexual orientation. Gov. Romney opposes workplace discrimination, but has taken no position on including sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA.
President Obama and Vice President Biden support amending ENDA to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Republican platform takes no position on amending ENDA. “With Gov. Romney’s support, amending ENDA to include sexual orientation and gender identity would be a slam dunk,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “His equivocation on amending ENDA makes Gov. Romney out of step with the FORTUNE 500 and public opinion.”
Starting in 2004, Equality Forum in collaboration with Professor Louis Thomas, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School has made the business case to FORTUNE 500 CEOs, HR Directors and members of their Board of Directors as well as made the shareholder case to their largest institutional shareholders. In 2004, there were 323 (64.6%) of the FORTUNE 500 Companies that provided sexual orientation workplace protection.
“Ninety percent (90%) of Americans mistakenly believe that sexual orientation workplace protection is provided under the federal ENDA. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia mandate workplace sexual orientation protection,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “In most of America, gays and lesbians can be fired solely because of their sexual orientation and without any misconduct or violation of corporate policy.”
“Equality Forum calls on Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to include sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA and pass that amendment to ENDA in the lame duck session of Congress,” stated Lazin. “Over 96% of the FORTUNE 500 companies and public opinion support including sexual orientation and gender identity in ENDA. There is overwhelming bipartisan and business support for protecting LGBT Americans in the workplace and no rational basis for delay in providing a level playing field for all Americans.”
According to recent polls, over 75% of Americans support the inclusion of sexual orientation in federal ENDA including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, seniors, Catholics and small business owners, among others.
To find the 17 (3.4%) of the 2012 FORTUNE 500 companies that do not provide sexual orientation protection and the 483 (96.6%) that do provide sexual orientation protection, visit www.equalityforum.com/fortune500.Equality Forum (www.equalityforum.com) is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, undertakes high impact initiatives, produces documentary films and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit.
Contact: Chip Alfred, Communications Director, email@example.com. (215) 732-3378 x 116.