Companies oppose anti-LGBTQ legislation, but they won't do so

7 minutes
Companies oppose anti-LGBTQ legislation, but they won't do so

The Biden administration announced on Monday that health providers can't discriminate against transgender patients, reversing a Trump-era policy and wading into a partisan flashpoint as hundreds of Republican-backed bills restricting the rights of LGBTQ individuals make their way through statehouses nationwide.

As with a similar wave of state-level restrictive voting bills, corporate America has spoken out against the anti-LGBTQ measures.And while some companies have shelled at the voting measures, I like the fight against such measures.

Many of these laws target transgender youth, including preventing them from playing on sports teams that align to their gender identity or receive gender-affirming medical treatment.

This month 95 companies — among them Pepsi Amazon American AirlinesAmazon American Airlines Marriott and Apple Google — expressed their opposition to the anti-LGBTQ bills in a letter written in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign.However, 37 of Fortune 500 companies did not sign.

In response to outreach by Yahoo Finance, some of these 37 companies added their voices to the chorus opposed to the bills, including JPMorgan Chase General Motors MetLife CVS HealthGeneral Motors MetLife CVS Health and Walgreens.

They declined or did not respond directly to the bill or respond directly.This group of companies consists of Walmart Chevron Target DisneyTarget Disney and Exxon Mohonk.

Although the Biden administration tries to reverse the discriminatory language towards transgender individuals, homosexual discrimination is proposed across at least 33 states at a record clip.According to the Human Rights Campaign, the biggest lobbying group for LGBTQ rights in the U.S. this year has surpassed 2015 as the worst year ever for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history.

Seventeen bills, from preventing trans girls from playing spots to erasing transgender people from school curricula, have been signed into law across eight states – Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The rights of LGBTQ people — and especially transgender people — across the country are being systematically undermined and threatened by national anti-LGBTQ groups that coordinate with the anti-equality lawmakers to wage an unprecedented war on the LGBTQ community.These bills are not only harmful and discriminatory but also represent a failure in our democracy and the commitment elected officials make to protect and serve their constituents, Human Rights Council President Alphonso David said in a statement.

An environment where everyone is accepted and valued''

Several companies have expressed their explicit disapproval of the legislation that would restrain trans people across America.

'MetLife is a company driven by purpose, explained Yahoo Finance.''That purpose — building a more confident future for all -- informs and inspires the stronger commitment to LGBTQ rights in the community.We oppose any legislation that would limit the rights of LGBTQ people.

General Motors echoed a similar sentiment, declaring that it works with more than one independent group like TechNet on a state-by-state basis, aligning with the coalition's position in opposing anti-LGBTQ laws.

'' General Motors' commitment to the LGBTQ community is at the heart of our company policies.At GM, promoting a culture that is open, supportive and free of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity allows all team members to be who they are at work — in an environment that is open, supportive, and empowering — where everyone is valued and accepted, a company spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Finance has been clear that it opposes legislation that discriminates against members of the LGBTQ community, a spokesperson told JPMorgan Chase.

A representative for CVS Health says the health care giant has consistently demonstrated public support for the trans community in a variety of ways, including against the Trump administration's decision to reduce health coverage for the LGBTQ community.Karen Lynch posted on LinkedIn about the general support and commitment to LGBTQ community last summer.

In a statement to Yahoo Finance, CVS Health voiced disapproval of the statewide legislation: 'We strongly oppose legislation in the state or federal level that infringes on the rights of the LGBTQ community and will continue to support this community through inclusive hiring practices, workplace policies and service to our diverse customers.

Walgreens expressed support for LGBTQ equality, including transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage and promoted 15 years of perfect 100 scores on the Corporate Equality Index from Human Rights Campaign.

We believe in equal opportunities for all and strongly oppose efforts that seek to exclude or oppress groups based on race, religion, gender identity, origin or orientation.Walgreens Boots Alliance is committed to ensuring safe and welcoming work environments and store environments where their team members and customers are treated with respect and dignity, a Walgreens spokesperson said.

Companies that have not taken a position on statewide measures have not taken a position on the companies that have not took such measures.

On a federal level, HRC spearheaded the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, which calls for a federal law with the same protections to LGBTQ employees that have other protected groups.Home Depot Chevron, Target and Disney were part of a group of 420 companies that have supported this national initiative, but never engaged at a national level.

Exxon Mobil responded to the outreach about the laws with lament over partisan gridlock but did not take a position on the measures.

Over the last few years, a perceived divide has emerged in our country: Casey Norton, Exxon corporate media relations manager, told Yahoo Finance.

Electoral officials at all levels must work together to bridge this divide.They need to take the time to understand the key points of view and find solutions that address the diverse issues.In short, they must demonstrate the leadership needed to work together and resolve complex issues that affect me all, added he.

Last month, the Arkansas HouseArkansas House and Senate overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto of HB 1570 that prevents doctors from providing any gender-affirming health care to transgender youth under the age of 18.Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas did not respond directly to requests for comment regarding the dozens of anti-LGBTQ bills being deliberated across the country, with at least six additional pieces of legislation in Arkansas.Instead, a company spokesperson shared an April 12 tweet from CEO Doug McMillon on an alternative to a hate crimes bill that was signed into law.

While the largest private employer in the United States has been notably silent on commenting specifically on the anti-LGBTQ Act, the Walton Family Foundation shared a statement regarding the discriminatory laws.

We are alarmed by the string of policies in Arkansas targeted LGBT people.This trend is harmful and sends a wrong message to those willing to invest in or visit the state. The state of Arkansas has been called the land of opportunity because it is a place where anyone can think large and achieve extraordinary things.All policy that limits individual opportunity also limits the potential of an individual in state-run issues.

Melody Hahm is an all-around correspondent of Yahoo Finance on the West Coast and covering entrepreneurship, technology and culture.Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Max Zahn is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.How can he find his twitter account MaxZahn?

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