Conservative attorneys general across the country have continually fought to suppress LGBTQ+ Americans’ rights, including opposing marriage equality, preventing LGBTQ+ parents from adopting, and working to ban transgender athletes from participating in sports 

Corporations that claim to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month have been quietly donating to these conservative attorneys general

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Washington, D.C. — Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report outlining the longstanding efforts of conservative attorneys generals across the country to suppress the rights of LGBTQ people, and the companies that claim to support the LGBTQ community while simultaneously donating to these anti-LGBTQ officials.

“Companies are eager to market their purported support for the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, but then they turn around and donate to some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ politicians across the country hoping no one will notice their hypocrisy. Companies tied to anti-LGBTQ attorneys general must disavow the discriminatory policies they defend, or risk being complicit in their hateful agenda. Actions speak louder than words, and discrimination against the LGBTQ community will only worsen if corporations continue with empty platitudes,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.  

These conservative attorneys general have a long history of working to suppress the rights of LGBTQ Americans: 

  • A coalition of 16 AGs signed an amicus brief to defend a seminary’s right to expel students based on their sexuality. 
  • A coalition of 11 states sued the Obama administration over a directive that urged public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity, claiming it “flouted” the democratic process. 
  • “In defense of religious liberty,” 14 states formed a coalition to oppose the state of New York as it sought to punish a photographer who refused to offer services to same-sex couples. 
  • A Republican governor and 13 Republican attorneys general signed on to a court brief challenging the view that federal anti-discrimination law would protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.
  • 15 Republican attorneys general signed a brief asking the court to rule against three people who were fired for identifying as part of the LBGTQ community, arguing that sexual orientation is not an aspect of one’s identity protected from workplace discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Many corporations which  claim to support LGBTQ rights and celebrate Pride month also donate to these anti-LGBTQ AGs, including: 

  • Georgia: UnitedHealth Group, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Altria are among top Georgia AG Chris Carr’s largest donors, despite Carr’s support for Trump’s HHS “religious freedom” rules that permitted government-sanctioned discrimination of LGBTQ individuals. 
  • Louisiana: Pfizer is among Louisiana AG Jeff Landry’s largest donors, despite his repeated actions to hinder the rights of transgender people, including his recent call for the Louisiana legislature to override Governor Edwards’ veto of an anti-transgender athlete bill. 
  • Alabama: Regions Financial Corp., AT&T, and Pfizer are among Alabama AG Steve Marshall’s largest donors, even though he signed on to a court brief arguing that federal law doesn’t protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.

Not only do these policies hurt the LGBTQ community and go against the corporations’ public stances on LGBTQ issues, but they are also bad for business:

  • Polling has shown that consumers avoid brands from states that have passed anti-LGBTQ legislation. 
  • It is more difficult to recruit and retain employees for companies that have advocated for discriminatory policies. 
  • A study from America Competes showed that anti-LGBTQ policies, or even debating anti-LGBTQ policies, and the absence of anti-discrimination protections cost states millions of dollars annually.
    • North Carolina’s anti-transgender bathroom ban was estimated to cost the state over $3.76 billion in lost business over 12 years.
  • More than 120 CEOs and business leaders signed an open letter that conveyed companies had an “ethical obligation” to defend“LGBTQ nondiscrimination.”  

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE

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