Story at a glance:
- Many corporations are showing support for LGBTQ+ communities, but at the same time many donate to politicians who vote against gay rights.
- CVS donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to 54 politicians who received a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
- AT&T and Comcast donated thousands to those opposed to LGBTQ+ rights in the South.
Despite June being Pride Month, a monthlong, global effort to honor and recognize the LGBTQ+ community, corporations that incorporate a rainbow flag into their logos continue to support political candidates who block or otherwise restrict equal rights based on gender or sexual orientation.
Major companies have been rated by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2020 Corporate Equality Index, a measurement that determines workplace policies and “public commitment to the LGBTQ community.” While a number of companies scored a perfect 100, the index does not take into account political donations; it did not factor in CVS’s past donations to Republican state Sens. Dawn Buckingham and Bryan Hughes, co-sponsors of SB1646, a bill that would classify gender-affirming care as child abuse, The Guardian reported.
According to a report released Monday by the newsletter Popular Information, CVS also supported North Carolina state senator Ralph Hise, and The Advocate has said that his primary sponsor of S514 is “the most repressive anti-transgender healthcare bill in the nation.”
CVS gave Hise $1,000 despite his remark that the anti-trans bathroom bill was supposed “to protect the citizens of the state of North Carolina.”
Comcast has donated more than $1 million to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians since 2019, with its subsidiary, Xfinity, tweeting, “Pride is the love we share. And with Xfinity, it’s Pride all year.”
AT&T, which pledged to an HRC letter opposing anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation, supported sponsors of anti-trans legislation in Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas and Florida, totaling about $62,000.
Walmart gave 121 politicians who received a zero from HRC at least $442,000.
CVS has donated $259,000 to 54 congresspeople who were poorly perceived by the HRC, receiving a zero for working against the Equality Act. Comcast gave 149 Congresspeople $1,095,500 who also received zero by HRC.
In Florida and Texas, Comcast donated about $30,000 to candidates who sponsored anti-trans legislation.
United Health, Deloitte and Wells Fargo have donated $1,000 to North Carolina state Sen. Joyce Krawiec, who is well known for sharing anti-trans articles on Twitter.
Many of the companies in the Popular Information report declined to comment, but a few did.
General Motors said its political contributions “do not represent an endorsement of the candidate or support for all the issues the candidate supports [and] we will continue to clearly communicate with policymakers GM’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” The Guardian reported.
Google said a contribution to a candidate “doesn’t mean that Google agrees with that candidate on every issue. In fact, we may disagree strongly on some issues.”
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