Who companies and their CEOs are (or aren't) looking out for (ahem... Chick-fil-A....) is something we want certainly want to be aware of when we plunk down our hard-earned money at the cash register.
So, with the holiday shopping season upon us, we're offering you this handy dandy guide to some businesses that have publicly vocalized their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
After the repeal of a major section of DOMA, Apple released a statement informing the public that, "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today." Apple also reportedly <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/coverage-gender-surgery-jumps-major-insurers-paying-sex-transformation-procedures-article-1.988863" target="_blank">expanded their insurance options for employees</a> in 2011 to cover gender confirmation surgery.
In May 2012, Target <a href="http://action.afa.net/uploadedImages/Activism/AFA_Action_Alerts/Action_Alert_Related_Items/targetpride.jpg" target="_hplink">announced</a> that 100 percent of the purchase price of any of its Pride merchandise would be donated to the pro-LGBT <a href="http://www.familyequality.org/" target="_hplink">Family Equality Council</a>. They also released this ad in early 2013. It should be noted that Target has also come under fire from gay rights advocates. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/lady-gaga-ends-target-lgbt_n_833209.html" target="_hplink">In 2011, Lady Gaga nixed a deal with Target</a> for an exclusive special edition of her "Born This Way" album after it was revealed that the brand had donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a group that was backing Tom Emmer's gubernatorial bid in Minnesota. Emmer was known for being especially conservative and not supporting equal rights for LGBT citizens.
In March 2013, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/starbucks-gay-marriage-howard-schultz_n_2931734.html" target="_blank">vocalized his public support for gay marriage</a> when an investor complained that the company's support was eroding its bottom line. He reportedly told the investor, "If you feel respectfully that you can get a higher return [than] the 38 percent you got last year, it's a free country. You could sell your shares at Starbucks and buy shares in other companies."
Budweiser released this advertisement in <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/corporations-paint-brands-red-lgbt-rights/story?id=18822775" target="_blank">March 2013</a>, echoing the Human Rights Campaign's <a href="https://www.hrc.org/the-hrc-story/about-our-logo" target="_blank">viral equality logo</a>.
Prior to the Boy Scout's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/boy-scouts-gay-ban-ruling_n_3328541.html" target="_blank">elimination of sexual orientation</a> as youth membership criterion, Levi's found itself at odds with the organization's 'Three Gs' principle that had guided the Scouts' membership model for more than 80 years -- that everyone is welcome, provided they are not gay, godless, or a girl. San Francisco-based Levi's <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/boy-scouts-battle-on-antigay-policy-levis-the-denim-firm-has-withdrawn-its-sponsorship-over-the-movements-refusal-to-accept-homosexuals-writes-david-usborne-in-washington-1550450.html" target="_hplink">pulled its Boy Scout funding</a> due to the group's exclusion of gay and lesbian members. In response, Republican Dana Rohrabacher encouraged a 'grassroots' counter-boycott of Levi Strauss and his Texan colleage, Tom DeLay, was even more extreme in his reaction: "When Texans find out that the Levi's they have on go toward attacks on the Boy Scouts of America... they'll take off those Levi's and burn them in the streets."
In 2005, Microsoft <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1490060/Religious-Right-to-boycott-Microsoft-over-support-for-gay-rights.html" target="_hplink">came under fire</a> from anti-LGBT activists, including evangelical preacher Ken Hutcherson, for its support of a bill in that would outlaw discrimination against homosexuals at work in the state of Washington. In response, Microsoft <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1490060/Religious-Right-to-boycott-Microsoft-over-support-for-gay-rights.html" target="_hplink">withdrew its support</a> of the bill, prompting outrage from gay and liberal activists and criticism from its staff and other big businesses. In response, Bill Gates backtracked again and admitted that he was surprised by the vehemence of the reaction. When the bill was defeated by a single vote, Microsoft's liberal critics blamed its withdrawal of support for the loss. Following the repeal of a major portion of DOMA, the company released the following statement: <blockquote>“Today’s decision turns the page on a law that made it more difficult for us to treat all of our employees, regardless of sexual orientation, equally. Microsoft joined dozens of corporations, organizations and governments in support of the challenge to DOMA because of the significant costs and administrative burdens it imposed on employers and because it interfered with our efforts to promote diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace.”</blockquote>
Amazon solidified their support for LGBT couples with this gay-inclusive Kindle Paperwhite ad, released in early 2013.
In 2009, <a href="http://www.americanapparel.net/" target="_hplink">American Apparel</a> put its "Legalize Gay" t-shirt in storefront windows in Washinton, D.C. When a group of <a href="http://news.change.org/stories/american-apparel-pushes-back-against-anti-lgbt-vandalism" target="_hplink">anti-LGBT vandals broke the store's windows</a>, the company didn't back down, but rather agreed to send shirts to any group in D.C. that was fighting for gay rights.
Although Walt Disney World's <a href="http://www.gaydays.com/" target="_hplink">Gay Days</a> are not officially sanctioned by the theme park, they were the object of a <a href="http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=158" target="_hplink">Florida Family Association warning</a>. The anti-LGBT group paid to have two planes fly over the park, with warning banners, to deter unsuspecting families from attending the park during Gay Days.
In 2005, the American Family Association <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8047423/ns/business-us_business/t/another-swing-pocketbook/#.T-x3GCtSTDV" target="_hplink">launched a boycott campaign</a> against Ford for being "the company which has done the most to affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle." The group criticized Ford for donating money to gay-rights organizations (Ford offered to give up to $1,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for every Jaguar and Land Rover it sells to a member of GLAAD) and complained that Ford had sponsored Pride celebrations, advertised in gay-oriented publications and was "redefining the definition of the family to include homosexual marriage."
A May 2012 <a href="http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147521725" target="_hplink">post</a> on the American Family Association web site proclaims, "AFA is promoting a boycott of Home Depot until it agrees to remain neutral in the homosexual culture war. The total number of people who have signed the Home Depot boycott pledge is 719,037." The <a href="http://action.afa.net/item.aspx?id=2147496231" target="_hplink">pledge</a> condemns Home Depot for giving "financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism," because this helps expose "small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers." In response to the <a href="http://action.afa.net/item.aspx?id=2147496231" target="_hplink">pledge</a>, which was delivered at Home Depot's annual shareholder meeting, Chairman Blake <a href="http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147521725" target="_hplink">responded</a>, "We are, and will remain, committed to a culture that fosters an inclusive environment for our associates, our customers and communities in which we exist."
Expedia touched hearts around the world with this incredible advertisement, in which a father shares his process of coming to understand his daughter's lesbian identity and travele across the country to attend her same-sex wedding.
Procter and Gamble
Procter and Gamble, the owner of products such as Tide, Pampers diapers and Crest toothpaste, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/17/news/fortune500/pg_gay_rights/" target="_hplink">angered conservatives</a> by opposing an anti-gay rights statute that would exempt gays and lesbians from special civil rights protection in its hometown of Cincinnati. In response, the American Family Association <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/17/news/fortune500/pg_gay_rights/" target="_hplink">issued a boycott</a> of some of P&G's most popular products and gathered petition signatures from almost 365,000 families urging Procter & Gamble to change its policy.
When Gap launched an ad campaign featuring two men pressed together under a shared t-shirt, anti-LGBT group One Million Moms, which is part of the American Family Association, launched a boycott, <a href="http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/gay-issues/one-million-moms-protests-gap-clothing-gay-billboard" target="_hplink">stating</a>, "GAP Inc. Brands, including Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, does not deserve, nor will it get, money from conservative families across the country. Supporting GAP is not an option until they decide to remain neutral in the culture war. GAP needs to seriously consider how their immoral advertising affect the youth of our nation."
After it was discovered that PepsiCo gave a combined $1,000,000 to the <a href="http://www.hrc.org/" target="_hplink">Human Rights Campaign</a> and <a href="http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=191" target="_hplink">PFLAG</a> (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to promote the so-called "homosexual lifestyle" in the workplace, the American Family Accociation posted a "<a href="http://www.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147483718" target="_hplink">Boycott Pepsi Pledge</a>," urging conservatives to stay away from Pepsi drinks, Frito Lay chips, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade.
Following the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/barilla-pasta-anti-gay_n_3995679.html" target="_blank">Barilla Pasta backlash after chairman Guido Barilla made comments</a> that the company would not feature LGBT families in their advertisements, and those who disagreed could "eat another brand of pasta," several other pasta companies came out in support of marriage equality. First Buitoni...
...and finally Bertolli. What a branding moment!
Clothing company Banana Republic posted this image on their Facebook following the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA.
In 2011, when Old Navy planned to sell shirts to benefit the anti-suicide, anti-bullying <a href="http://www.itgetsbetter.org/" target="_hplink">It Gets Better</a> project, the American Family Association <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-gays-ought-be-ashamed-national-borders-were-set-god" target="_hplink">urged members</a> to "drop by your Old Navy store in your community and tell them you're not going to shop at Old Navy until they get their minds right."
The company that owns Oreo, Mondelēz International, posted a photo of a rainbow sextuple-stacked cookie to its <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oreo" target="_hplink">Facebook</a> page in honor of Pride month in June 2012. Additionally, following the repeal of DOMA the company released the following statement: <blockquote>"At Mondelēz International, being open and inclusive is one of our core values and essential to our growth strategy. Our commitment includes welcoming each employee’s unique skills and perspectives. And it extends beyond the workplace, too, where we have a long history of support for underrepresented communities. We heartily support equal rights for LGBT people."</blockquote>
In December 2011, a Macy's dressing room attendant prevented a transgender woman from using a female dressing room because it violated her religious beliefs. Macy's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/macys-employee-fired-transgender_n_1133831.html" target="_blank">went on to fire the employee</a>.
General Mills has a long history of supporting LGBT rights as both a parent company and through its individual products. In October 2013, Betty Crocker, owned by General Mills, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/betty-crocker-gay-families_n_4086280.html" target="_blank">released this video</a> in conjunction with its <a href="http://familiesproject.bettycrocker.com/" target="_blank">Families Project</a>, an initiative that seeks to evidence their support for LGBT families. Other products owned by General Mills that contributed to LGBT equality, and have subsequently been boycotted by the The National Organization for Marriage, include <a href="http://www.dumpgeneralmills.com/?REF=EB120625NANT" target="_blank">Cheerios, Wheaties, Pillsbury and Green Giant</a>.
After J.C. Penny chose Ellen DeGeneres, an openly lesbian celebrity, as its spokesperson, One Million Mom's spearheaded an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/ellen-degeneres-jc-penney_n_1247657.html" target="_hplink">infamous boycott</a> of the department store.
In 2006, Walgreen's was a Platinum-Level sponsor of the Chicago "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Games" target="_hplink">Gay Games</a>."
Fashion designer and activist Kenneth Cole has long been an activist for LGBT rights, having <a href="http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/hrc-and-kenneth-cole-are-married-to-equality" target="_blank">partnered with the Human Rights Campaign in 2013</a> to encourage Americans to support marriage equality.
Absolut Vodka has <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/business/media/absolut-heralds-its-marketing-to-gay-consumers.html?_r=0" target="_blank">long been a supporter</a> of the LGBT community, and also <a href="http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/smirnoff-and-absolut-show-their-support-gay-marriage-facebook-148171" target="_blank">released this advertisement</a> in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign's viral <a href="https://www.hrc.org/the-hrc-story/about-our-logo" target="_blank">equality logo</a>. Other vodka companies followed suit...
"As a signatory to the amicus brief in support of Edith Windsor and the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, Citi welcomes today's ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. Citi promotes a work environment where diversity is embraced and where our differences are valued and respected." -- A statement from Citi after the Supreme Court ruled a major portion of DOMA unconstitutional
Manhattan Mini Storage
The ad says it all. If you live in the Big Apple and you're looking for a storage unit, you know where to go.
Nike has been a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/11/01/2873781/nike-uses-betrue-campaign-make-200000-donation-lgbt-sports-coalition/" target="_blank">highly visible supporter</a> of the LGBT community for quite some time, and released the following statement after the repeal of a major portion of DOMA: <blockquote>"NIKE, Inc., has long supported the recognition of same-sex civil marriage, domestic partnerships and workplace non-discrimination, and we are pleased the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality. NIKE, Inc., endorsed and signed the business coalition amicus brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act because we are a company committed to diversity and inclusion, and we believe all of our employees should be treated equally."</blockquote>
Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights for quite some time. Not only did the company post this on their Facebook following the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA, but they've released ice cream flavors to reflect their position, including "<a href="http://thefeministbride.com/benandjerrys/" target="_blank">Apple-y Ever After</a>" and "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/01/hubby-hubby-ben-jerrys-sh_n_273872.html" target="_blank">Hubby Hubby</a>."
Marc Jacob's sent out this Tweet after the Supreme Court ruled a major portion of DOMA unconstitutional.
Following Pride month in June 2013, Google changed its search box to a rainbow whenever a user <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/google-gay_n_3503445.html" target="_blank">searched for a "LGBT"-related term.</a>
After the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA, eBay released the following statement: <blockquote>"eBay is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision strike down part of DOMA. As a growing global company with a diverse workforce of 31,500 employees worldwide, eBay embraces the core values of non-discrimination, diversity and inclusion. Our support for marriage equality is a natural extension of our support for eBay’s LGBT employees and a reflection of our company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace."</blockquote>
Orbitiz released the following statement following the repeal of a major portion of DOMA: <blockquote>“Orbitz has a long-history and deep commitment to promoting tolerance, non-discrimination and equality as an integral part of our employment practices as well as our marketing efforts... we applaud today’s Supreme Court decision.”</blockquote>
jetBlue released the following statement in support of LGBT rights after the repeal of a major portion of DOMA: <blockquote>"We joined other leading companies in signing the amicus brief in support of the alignment of state and federal law, and are pleased to see today’s ruling in line with streamlined business practices and the general direction of the country."</blockquote>
Mastercard offered this ad in response to the repeal of a major portion of DOMA by the Supreme Court.
Facebook posted this image and accompanying statement following the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA.
...as did Instagram.
AT&T declared that their company believes "Love Is Love" following the repeal of a major portion of DOMA.
In June of 2009, Safeway honored Pride by putting large gay/lesbian Pride posters in its stores across America. In response to this celebration of the "gay lifestyle," the American Family Association <a href="http://www.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147484828" target="_hplink">urged conservatives</a> to contact their local Safeway, and ask it to "stop promoting homosexuality," and "let Safeway know if they continue, you will consider grocery shopping with their competitors."
Johnson & Johnson
“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision... We believe that all lawfully married employees should be treated by our company in the same way.” -- Johnson & Johnson following the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA
Ernst & Young
"Ernst & Young is very committed to diversity and inclusiveness and we believe that difference matters, including the sexual orientation and gender identity of our LGBT professionals. Non-discrimination policies, benefits and other practices that include LGBT workers are essential for U.S. businesses as they compete for talent and customers. At Ernst & Young, we have found that to be especially true and have been on the forefront of offering our LGBT professionals spousal equivalency in our benefits, policies and practices. We are proud that our actions with same-sex domestic partner benefits align with the decisions made today and are happy for the recognition afforded to our LGBT professionals." -Ernst & Young's response to the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA
"We have a history of promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace, bringing together people with unique life experiences, cultures and backgrounds to promote a creative, innovative and collaborative environment. We have a strong commitment to respecting one another, treating employees equally and creating workplace equality." -Cisco's response to a major portion of DOMA's unconstitutional ruling
Following the repeal of a major portion of DOMA, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein <a href="https://twitter.com/GoldmanSachs/status/349934731900620800" target="_blank">stated via Twitter</a>: “Today’s decisions help define who we are as a people, whether or not we are part of the group directly affected."
Despite <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/04/marriott-gay-therapy-petition-_n_4213181.html" target="_blank">criticism for playing host</a> to an "ex-gay" therapy conference, Marriott has spoken out in support for gay rights. The company posted this statement of support on Facebook following the ruling of a major portion of DOMA as unconstitutional.
"We welcome today's Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality as a significant step forward in ensuring workplace equality." -- A statement from Moody's following the Supreme Court's repeal of a major portion of DOMA.
"UBS is pleased with today's decision, as our firm is committed to equality for all our employees and maintaining an inclusive workplace. We were proud to be one of the firms who signed the amicus brief in support of the repeal of DOMA." -UBS's response to the repeal of a major portion of DOMA by the Supreme Court
The Huffington Post
Yes, we're owned by AOL, but you get the idea.