Levi Strauss & Co., the original blue jean maker, advocated for gay rights with a pro-gay marriage white ribbon on their blue jeans in 2009 and was honored for a TV ad campaign celebrating Gay History Month at the 2010 GLAAD awards. The company is highly recommended in the HRC Buyer’s Guide, a directory put out by the Human Rights Campaign to keep consumers informed on corporations that align policy with LGBT concerns.
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Nike came under fire in May 2012 for Bible-derived, gay-dismissive comments made by boxer Manny Pacquiao, who is key to several Nike brand campaigns. But the company also released a collection of shoes in support of Pride Month. Nike received a perfect score from the HRC Buyer’s Guide.
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In January JCPenney partnered with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, despite protests from pro-family group One Million Moms. After the company’s May mailer featuring a lesbian couple and their daughter drew further ire from One Million Moms, JCPenney doubled down with a Father’s Day ad featuring a gay couple playing with their children. Despite its public stands that place principle over profit, the company fell short of a perfect score in the HRC Buyer’s guide because it did not offer “equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care.”
American Airlines launched its Rainbow campaign, an LGBT-dedicated sales staff and Web site to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, way back in 1994. The HRC Buyer’s Guide awarded the airline a perfect score in LGBT workplace equality. The airline also owns American Eagle Airlines, not to be confused with American Eagle Outfitters, a clothing company that came under fire in 2007 for “tired gay stereotypes” in a series of print ads.
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Search behemoth Google is supporting legal protection for same-sex sexual activity around the world through its global Legalize Love Campaign. In 2008, cofounder Sergey Brin blogged about opposing Prop 8 on the official Google blog. Do a quick search, and you will find that Google ranks among the HRC’s most LGBT friendly companies.
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Starbucks’ corporate leadership gladly discussed its support for same-sex marriage at a 2012 shareholders meeting, resulting in a boycott by the National Organization for Marriage. The coffee giant, known for its commitment to supplying full- and part-time employees with affordable healthcare coverage, is highly recommended by the HRC due to policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
IBM has twice been rated as the United Kingdom’s most LGBT friendly company by Stonewall, a U.K. organization working to erase gay stigmatization. The fourth largest company in the world, America’s International Business Machines is vocal in its support for diversity. IBM is ranked among the best companies for LGBT employees by the HRC.