Despite Declaring Support For Pride, Corporations Spent Big On Anti-LGBTQ Attorneys General
Each June, many large corporations publicly declare their support for the LGBTQ community during Pride month celebrations, but a closer review reveals that several of these same corporations are funding conservative state Attorneys General who push harmful anti-LGBTQ policies. These policies call into questions corporate support for the LGBTQ community and hurt the business climate in states across the country.
Several of these conservative state Attorneys General have continually fought to suppress LGBTQ Americans’ rights. They have opposed the legalization of marriage equality, sought to cement companies’ ability to discriminate against LGBTQ customers, and prohibited queer parents from adopting, among other catastrophic policies. Just during Pride Month 2021, conservative Attorneys General have defended anti-transgender student athlete bills and permitted discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
Despite the actions Republican AGs’ have taken to codify discrimination against the LGBTQ community, corporations that have publicly supported the LGBTQ community have funded those same AGs’ campaigns:
UnitedHealth Group and Cozen O’Connor are top donors to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich despite his pledge to defend Arizona’s gay marriage ban “to the fullest extent legally possible.”
Frost Brown & Todd, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and RAI Services are top donors to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron despite his support for former Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay applicants
UnitedHealth Group, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Altria have been top donors to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, apparently undeterred by Carr’s support for Trump’s HHS “religious freedom” rules that permitted government-sanctioned discrimination of LGBTQ individuals.
Pfizer is a top donor to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry 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.
Regions Financial Corp., AT&T, and Pfizer are top donors to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall even though he signed on to a court brief arguing that federal law doesn’t protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.
Boyd Gaming and Home Depot have been top donors to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey even though he praised a West Virginia Supreme Court decision that ruled that the state’s hate crime laws do not apply to anti-LGBTQ attacks.
Farmers Insurance, Ryan LLC, and AT&T are top donors to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, even though he has backed county clerks and a state agency that sought to impede marriage equality.
Las Vegas Sands and Facebook are top donors to South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, even though he previously declared he was “not for gay rights” on an online forum in the mid-2000s.
Anheuser-Busch and General Motors are top donors to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, even though he celebrated the dismissal of a lawsuit from a teacher who alleged he was discriminated against because of his same-sex marriage.
Entergy and Walmart are top donors to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who has led the fight against rights for transgender individuals, including proposing a state ban on transgender school athletes.
Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, and Lathrop GPM arere top donors to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who signed on to a court brief arguing that federal law does not protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.
Duke Energy is a top donor to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson even though Wilson has repeatedly fought to preserve South Carolina’s ban on marriage equality.
These anti-LGBTQ policies not only fly in the face of corporations’ public stances during Pride Month; they actively hurt the business climate in states across the country. Coalitions of companies have repeatedly pointed out that anti-LGBTQ policies at the state level make it more difficult to recruit and retain employees and polling has shown that consumers avoid brands from states that passed anti-LGBTQ legislation. For example, North Carolina’s anti-transgender bathroom ban was estimated to cost the state over $3.76 billion in lost business.
Anti-LGBTQ policies are bad for people and bad for business.