On May 29, Exxon Mobil Corporation held their annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. A bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, which has been on the corporation’s agenda at their annual meetings for the past 14 consecutive years, was proposed but did not pass.
Only 19% of shareholders were in favor of the policy—the lowest in its history.
This is not the first time Exxon shareholders have voted down an explicit ban regarding discrimination against homosexuals. Resource Center Dallas CEO, Cece Cox, said in a statement posted on Facebook, “The company continues to incorrectly assert that it provides employment protections and an equitable workplace for its [LGBT] employees… 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.”
Exxon Mobil is one the leading manufactures for oil and distribution in the United States. Last week, the company got caught up in a controversy regarding two fictional resumes—both reflected an applicant that was very qualified, but one of the resumes reported LGBT activism, as well as higher grades in school. The company ultimately chose to follow up only with the candidate that did not have any LGBT references on her resume, and it caused an uproar within the LGBT community.
The president of LGBT rights group Freedom to Work, Tico Almeida, said that “We are bringing forward proof they’ve broken the law, and we’re hopeful this compelling case will move them over the tipping point.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is now accusing the Fortune 500 Corporation of discrimination against the LGBT community. HRC rated many of Exxon’s Fortune 500 competitors an 80 or higher on a scale to 100, for their written nondiscrimination policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Exxon is the first company ever that managed to rate below zero.
A spokesman for Exxon Mobil said that they do not discriminate, but in fact go above and beyond for their employees: “Exxon Mobil’s global policies and processes prohibit all forms of discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in any company workplace, anywhere in the world,” Engelmann said in an e-mail to ABC News. “In fact, our policies go well beyond the law and prohibit any form of discrimination.”