Attention Shoppers! As Black Friday Approaches, Human Rights Campaign Releases Buying for Equality 2007 During Busy Holiday Shopping Season, New Guide Gives Consumers Tips for

Buying Products From Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Friendly

Companies



    WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- As the official beginning of the
 holiday shopping season is set to start, the Human Rights Campaign, the
 nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights
 organization, has released a new guide listing hundreds of popular American
 brands ranked on their company's GLBT inclusiveness. The publication,
 "Buying for Equality," breaks products into easily distinguishable
 purchasing categories. Companies and their products are compared using the
 criteria of the HRC Foundation's nationally respected Corporate Equality
 Index, which evaluates GLBT workplace policies and practices.
     "When the American consumer hits the malls the day after Thanksgiving,
 we hope our guide, 'Buying for Equality,' will be in their hands," said
 Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Every single day, those who
 support equality have an opportunity to vote and put their values into
 action by utilizing their pocketbooks. Our community has billions of
 dollars worth of buying power and we intend to use it this holiday season.
 By purchasing products from companies supporting GLBT equality, you are
 sending a message that will be heard loud and clear."
     This is the second year the Human Rights Campaign has published "Buying
 for Equality," a powerful tool to empower equality minded shoppers. Last
 year, the guide was downloaded off of HRC's website
 http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide) more than 250,000 times.
     The popular guide draws comparisons between products, services and
 retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis. For example, this
 year's guide includes comparisons between retail giants Gap, which receives
 a "green" rating with a 100%, perfect score, and Abercrombie & Fitch, which
 receives a "yellow" rating with only a 50% score.
     The ratings are based upon the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality
 Index which this year found, for the first time, more than half of Fortune
 500 companies now offer domestic partnership benefits to their employees.
 Also, this nationally recognized report showed that 138 companies received
 a perfect 100% score this year -- a ten fold increase in only four years.
     Seventy percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are
 very or extremely likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal
 workplace benefits for gay and lesbian employees, according to research by
 Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive.
     "I encourage consumers this year to take a moment to support companies
 that support equality," Solmonese continued. "This holiday season, each one
 of us can do our part to help secure equality for all Americans."
     The guide is available online at http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide. For
 high resolution photos of the products and their ratings, please visit
 http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide/photos.
     The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights
 organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
 equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end
 discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves
 fundamental fairness and equality for all.
                   BACKGROUND ON THE 2007 BUYING FOR EQUALITY
     "Buying for Equality" is an annual publication of the Human Rights
 Campaign Foundation's Workplace Project that directs consumers to support
 fair-minded companies through their purchasing decisions. The buyers guide
 ranks hundreds of popular American brands based on their parent companies
 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) workplace policies and
 practices. Scores are determined through scoring criteria in the HRC
 Foundation's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the only nationally recognized
 measure of GLBT workplace equality. The CEI is the primary method for
 companies to evaluate their diversity efforts toward GLBT employees,
 customers, and investors.
     Categories
     "Buying for Equality" breaks companies and their products into easily
 distinguishable purchasing categories. Some categories include:
     * Apparel & Accessories
     * Banking & Finance
     * Computers & Technology
     * Home & Garden
     * Medicine Cabinet
     Companies/products are divided based on their CEI score into red,
 yellow, and green sections so that consumers can easily determine which
 brands support GLBT equality.
     * Green (80-100): Consumers should make every effort to support these
       companies.
     * Yellow (46-79): Companies/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-
       minded workplace, but there is still progress to be made.
     * Red (0-45): Companies/brands that have more work to do in furthering
       equality.  If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.
     "Buying for Equality" 2007 compares many leading brands. This year,
 examples of the best and worst companies for GLBT equality include:
     Best                      Worst
 
     MetLife                   Transamerica
     BP                        Exxon Mobil
     Best Buy                  RadioShack
     Tylenol                   Aleve
     Whole Foods               Kroger
     DiGiorno                  Domino's
     Gap                       Abercrombie & Fitch
 
     Distribution
     Last year, "Buying for Equality" 2006 reached over one million
 individuals:
     * 250,000+ viewings on hrc.org
     * 50,000 copies distributed
     * Featured in mainstream media on CNBC, The Associated Press and Scripps
       new services
     * Featured in GLBT press in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis,
       and Washington, D.C.
 
     Availability
     "Buying for Equality" is available via hard-copy, download, and online.
     Please visit http://www.hrc.org/buyersguide for further information.
 
 

SOURCE Human Rights Campaign

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