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Apple, American Airlines, Nike, Facebook and Gap call for US Equality Act

Apple, American Airlines, Nike, Facebook and Gap call for US Equality Act

Airbnb is among the companies to support the Equality Act

Sixty leading American companies, including several household brands, have formally given their backing to Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) campaign for a federal Equality Act in the US.

Corporates to call for federal protections for LGBTI people include Airbnb, Apple, Coca Cola, Nike, Facebook, Gap, Intel, Dropbox, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Google and Hilton Worldwide, among others.

The proposed Equality Act was introduced last year by Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin and Cory Booker; and Representatives David Cicilline and John Lewis. It has been supported by the HRC since its launch.

If accepted, the Act will effectively expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protection for LGBT people.

HRC has launched its Business Coalition for the Equality Act to demonstrate that LGBT protections have the backing of corporate America.

Companies that have pledged their support have operations across the US, with headquarters spanning 22 states and combined $1.9trillion in revenue. Between them, they employ over 4.2million in the US.

‘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,’ said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement.

‘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.’

‘Laws that allow such discrimination create an unfavorable social and business climate’

According to a HRC survey, nearly two-thirds of LGBT Americans have reported experiencing discrimination, and 50% of them live in States where they are at risk of being fired, denied housing or refused services.

Further research undertaken by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 70% of 42,000 people polled in the US support the introduction of the Equality Act.

Last year, when the Equality Act was introduced, Apple was among the first companies to announce its backing, saying at the time: ‘At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.’

In a statement to Gay Star Business, a spokesperson for American Airlines said: ‘For nearly two decades, American has been a pioneer in our fair-minded policies and practices for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and customers.

‘We believe no individual should be refused service or employment because of gender identity or sexual orientation. Laws that allow such discrimination create an unfavorable social and business climate, are fundamentally unfair, and promote intolerance and division.’

The full list of companies that are part of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act are as follows:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
  • Accenture
  • Airbnb Inc.
  • Inc.
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Apple Inc.
  • Best Buy Co. Inc.
  • Biogen
  • Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corp.
  • Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
  • Brown-Forman Corp.
  • CA Technologies Inc.
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp.
  • Capital One Financial Corp.
  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • Choice Hotels International Inc
  • Corning Inc.
  • CVS Health Corp.
  • Diageo North America
  • Dropbox Inc.
  • EMC Corp.
  • Facebook Inc.
  • Gap Inc.
  • General Electric Co.
  • General Mills Inc.
  • Google Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Co.
  • Hilton Worldwide Inc.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corp.
  • IBM Corp.
  • Intel Corp.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kellogg Co.
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Marriott International Inc.
  • MasterCard Inc.
  • McGraw Hill Financial
  • Microsoft Corp.
  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Monsanto Co.
  • Moody’s Corp.
  • Nike Inc.
  • Oracle Corp.
  • Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
  • PepsiCo Inc.
  • Qualcomm Inc.
  • Replacements Ltd.
  • Salesforce
  • Sodexo Inc.
  • Symantec Corp.
  • T-Mobile USA Inc.
  • Target Corp.
  • Tech Data Corp.
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • The Dow Chemical Co.
  • The Hershey Company
  • Twitter Inc.
  • Unilever
  • WeddingWire Inc.

Main image: Airbnb employees at San Francisco Pride in 2014, by Quinn Dombrowski licensed via CreativeCommons2.0