Box, Compass, Gilead Sciences, Inc., HP Inc., Hyatt, and Mattel among signatories joining Human Rights Campaign and Freedom for All Americans’ Business Statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom for All Americans announced that more than 200 major companies have joined together to sign on to the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom for All Americans Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation. Together, these companies are united in opposing the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, much of which specifically harms transgender youth, in states across the country. The list of signatories has more than quadrupled in the past year.
“Every day, more and more major businesses are refusing to sit idly by as state legislators across the country push anti-transgender legislation and other bills affecting their LGBTQ+ workers, customers, and clients,” said Joni Madison, Interim President Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign. “Cruel legislative attacks, especially against transgender youth, force employees to choose between states where they can provide for their families and where their LGBTQ+ children can live without fear. Businesses know it’s hard to attract employees under ideal circumstances and that it is almost impossible to convince top recruits to relocate to places where legislators are working overtime to deny LGBTQ+ youth opportunities to fully participate in daily life. In an already competitive job market, these attacks make recruitment and retention even harder. We thank the over 200 companies who are calling on lawmakers who want to maintain a strong business climate in their state to stop pushing this discriminatory legislation.”
“Business leaders across a variety of innovative industries and sectors continue to make it clear that inclusive environments are pro-business environments,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and National Campaign Director, Freedom for All Americans, the campaign to secure LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide. “The cruel legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender young people, at the state level harm real families, and they also add to businesses’ operational, recruitment, and retention challenges in an already tight job market. As states continue to recover from the pandemic, legislators should focus on policies that lift up our local economies, not make it even more difficult for vulnerable families to take care of themselves and their loved ones.”
“As a socially responsible business, Amalgamated Bank believes our employees and our clients deserve a pro-business and pro-family environment. This spate of anti-LGBTQ state legislation is anti-business and anti-family. These hateful legislative efforts are an attack on democracy and basic human rights,” said Maura Keaney, First Vice President, Commercial Banking, Amalgamated Bank.
“Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to BASF’s values. As a major employer, our success depends on a safe and welcoming work environment where people of all backgrounds feel supported to do their best work,” said Patricia Rossman, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, BASF Corporation. “We can’t attract and develop great talent in one state or community and not have those individuals feel supported in another location due to varying laws and protections. Our business succeeds on the strength of creating inclusive, caring and connected environments that are free from bias and discrimination and bring out the best in all of us.”
“At Bright Horizons in our classrooms and offices, inclusion, acceptance and celebrating our differences are part of the fabric of who we are,” said Stephen Kramer, CEO, Bright Horizons. “As leaders, educators, parents and friends who want all children to grow up with pride in themselves and compassion for others, we need to stand up against anti-LGBTG legislation. We won’t stay silent. Love is love, and hate is hurtful. And all children deserve support and compassion in their education and throughout their lives.”
“The LGBTQ community faces many challenges across the country. IBM strongly believes recent actions and new proposals by state government targeting the LGBTQ community and particularly trans youth is discriminatory and wrongly creates fear and uncertainty for American families,” said Carla Grant Pickens, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, IBM. “Our company has a long history of supporting diversity and inclusion. We will continue to stand up for all IBMers and to provide gender-affirming medical coverage to our employees and their dependents in the U.S.”
“The fight for LGBTQIA+ equality remains front and center for Levi Strauss & Co.,” said Anna Walker, Vice President of Public Affairs, Levi Strauss & Co. “We are committed to building inclusive environments for our employees and demand policies that make places where we do business safe for the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“Lush is proud of our long history campaigning for transgender and LGBTQ rights, and providing an inclusive workplace environment for our LGBTQ employees and their families,” said Brandi Halls, Chief Ethics Officer, Lush Cosmetics North America. “Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our values and we strive to do everything we can to protect our employees. Yet we continue to see the advancement of dangerous bills attacking transgender children and LGBTQ people who are simply trying to work hard, take care of their loved ones, and go about their daily lives, like all of us. Legislation promoting discrimination causes immediate harm to real people, our customers, our business, and our families. We urge lawmakers to stop these hurtful attacks.”
“Many investors, like Trillium, understand that the deep and profound harm that comes from creating an anti-LGBTQ+ environment is not only an economic headwind that is value-destroying, but is fundamentally contrary to American values of liberty, freedom, and justice,” said Jonas D. Kron, Chief Advocacy Officer, Trillium Asset Management. “This growing group of business leaders that have signed this letter represents the powerful belief that our nation and economy are stronger and more resilient when we embrace our diversity and emphasize equity and inclusion.”
“The bills being introduced into state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals do not benefit business, particularly the small and medium sized businesses that we serve,” said Samantha Wellington, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, TriNet. “We believe that they increase complexity adding nuances that any business, but specifically a small or medium sized business operating across state lines will find difficult to navigate. The care and concern TriNet has for its stakeholders is a foundational element of our Company’s Core Values which support our vision of becoming the most trusted advisor to small and medium-size businesses by harnessing the power of scale.”
“At Unity, we believe the world is a better place with more creators in it and that these creators, no matter who they are, what they believe or how they identify, should be protected against exclusion, harassment or isolation they may endure based on LGBTQ+ status,” said John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity. “This is why Unity stands with other businesses in signing the National Business Statement so that people of all backgrounds feel safe and included no matter where they are.”
“23andMe stands by our LGBTQ+ employees, customers, families and children in promoting fairness and equality, and condemns the recent legislative efforts across the US that discriminate against the transgender community,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder, 23andMe. “As a company grounded in science and an advocate of providing access to healthcare for everyone, this legislation is counter to what we stand for. We are proud to stand with over 200 companies in supporting the Human Rights Campaign’s business statement on anti-LGBTQ state legislation.”
Business leaders consistently report that they have difficulty with recruitment, retention, and tourism in states that debate or pass legislation that excludes LGBTQ+ people from full participation in daily life, and that includes the children of their valued employees and recruits. These policy fights negatively impact businesses operationally and financially, and needlessly put the safety and wellbeing of their team members and their families at risk.
Last year, a record 26 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were enacted into law across ten states. In 2022, at least 320 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are already pending in state legislatures, more than half of which specifically target transgender youth and ban them from being able to fully participate in everyday life.
Lawmakers in statehouses nationwide are seeking to ban transgender youth from participating in sports; criminalize medically necessary, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth; ban discussion of LGBTQ+ youth and families in classrooms, effectively erasing our community; revive “bathroom bills” to prohibit transgender young people from simply using the restroom at school; and even undermine companies’ own internal inclusion and safe workplace programs.
The companies joining this statement do business, create jobs, and serve customers throughout the United States. Our businesses strongly embrace diversity and inclusion because we want everyone who works for us or does business with us to feel included and welcomed as their true, authentic selves. Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve. What’s more, these values also matter to our bottom lines. Inclusive business practices lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction; and, ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.
We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in statehouses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. Laws that would affect access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, unnecessarily and uncharitably single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. They seek to put the authority of state government behind discrimination and promote mistreatment of a targeted LBGTQ population.
These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace.
As we make complex decisions about where to invest and grow, these issues can influence our decisions. America’s business community has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws have a negative effect on our employees, our customers, our competitiveness, and state and national economies.
As business leaders dedicated to equal treatment, respect, and opportunity for all – as well as to improve the financial and investment climate across the country – we call for public leaders to abandon or oppose efforts to enact this type of discriminatory legislation and ensure fairness for all Americans.
The Adecco Group
Advance Auto Parts
Altria Group Inc.
American Honda Motor Company
Applied Materials, Inc.
Arcadis U.S. Inc.
Baker Tilly US
Bayer US LLC
BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe)
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
Block, Inc. (Formerly Square, Inc.)
Boehringer Ingelheim USA
Boston Consulting Group
Bright Health Group
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Cargo Transporters, Inc.
Center for Community Self-Help
The College Board
CSAA Insurance Group
Deckers Brands (UGG, HOKA, Teva, Sanuk and Koolaburra by UGG)
Deutsche Bank USA Corp.
Early Warning Services, LLC
Elanco Animal Health
EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Electronics
FactSet Research Systems Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
GP Strategies Corporation
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
HSBC Bank USA
IHG Hotels & Resorts
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
The Knot Worldwide
The Kraft Heinz Company
Levi Strauss & Co.
Lexmark International, Inc.
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Marriott International, Inc.
Mars, North America
New Belgium Brewing
Peloton Interactive, Inc.
PNC Financial Services Group
Prudential Financial, Inc.
RedFin Real Estate
Red Hat, Inc.
Royal Bank of Canada
Sony Interactive Entertainment
State Street Corporation
Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, including member companies Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA; and Unilever United States
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Thermo Fisher Scientific
T-Mobile USA Inc.
Trillium Asset Management
TriNet Group, Inc.
Unilever United States
The Walt Disney Company
Warner Music Group
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
Xperi Holding Corporation
Zoom Video Communications