Apple, Coca-Cola and Unilever among giants to back proposed US Equality Act
A coalition of 60 major US companies have endorsed the proposed federal Equality Act – which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment.
There is currently no federal US law prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, meaning it is still technically legal to fire someone for being gay in as many as 30 states.
A bill known as the Equality Act – which would outlaw discrimination and ensure a range of protections for LGBT people – was tabled by Democrats in Congress last year.
The bill has won support from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – but it has made little progress as Republicans currently control both Houses, and to date just one Republican lawmaker has broken ranks to back it
However, in a bid to convince conservatives that the law will be good for business, a coalition of major industry leaders stepped forward to back the law today.
The Human Rights Campaign announced the Business Coalition for the Equality Act – a group representing 60 leading American companies employing 4.2 million people across all 50 states,with a combined $1.9 trillion in revenue.
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “These business leaders are showing true leadership and fighting to end a shameful status quo that leaves LGBT people at risk in a majority of states for being denied services or fired because of who they are or who they love.
“We’re proud of all these corporate leaders stepping forward to say that all Americans, including LGBT people, should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living.”
HRC says the Equality Act “provides clear, permanent and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in vital areas of life, like employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally funded programs” – but Republicans claim it violates freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The companies backing the law are below:
Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., Accenture, Hilton Worldwide Inc., Airbnb Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corp., Amazon.com Inc., IBM Corp., American Airlines, Intel Corp., American Eagle Outfitters, Kellogg Co., Apple Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Best Buy Co. Inc., MasterCard Inc., Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp., Marriott International Inc., Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., McGraw Hill Financial, Brown-Forman Corp., Microsoft Corp., CA Technologies Inc., Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Caesars Entertainment Corp., Monsanto Co., Capital One Financial Corp., Moody’s Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., Nike Inc., Choice Hotels International Inc, Oracle Corp., Corning Inc., Orbitz Worldwide Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo Inc., CVS Health Corp., Qualcomm Inc., Diageo North America, Replacements Ltd., Dropbox Inc., Salesforce, The Dow Chemical Co., Sodexo Inc., EMC Corp., Symantec Corp., Facebook Inc., Target Corp., Gap Inc., Tech Data Corp., General Mills Inc., T-Mobile USA Inc., General Electric Co., Twitter Inc., Google Inc., Unilever, The Hershey Company, WeddingWire Inc.