Garden State Equality Calls on Corporations to Demand Contributions Back From Congressman Scott Garrett Following Anti-LGBT Comments

Aug 04, 2015, 09:01 ET from Garden State Equality

MONTCLAIR, N.J., Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Garden State Equality, the leading civil rights education and advocacy organization for New Jersey's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, reiterated its call for a series of major public and private companies to cease all contributions and request a refund of prior contributions to Congressman Scott Garrett following his discriminatory comments about the LGBT community.

This action follows Garrett's support of the anti-gay First Amendment Defense Act, and Garrett's refusal to pay his Republican national congressional campaign committee dues because his party had supported LGBT candidates. Despite repeated requests from reporters and Republican state leadership to explain his comments, Garrett hasn't denied any of the allegations.

Several leading companies have taken steps to separate themselves from Garrett recently by canceling fundraisers and announcing that they are ending contributions to his political action committees.  Garden State Equality praises these moves, but many companies have yet to take action against him.

"What we need to see is a complete divestment from candidates, like Scott Garrett, that espouse such hatred," said Andrea Bowen, GSE's Executive Director.

"Congressman Garrett's bigoted comments have no place in New Jersey, a state that has a proud record of supporting LGBT rights," continued Bowen.  "We agree with the Bergen Record in their assessment that it is grounds to remove him from office, and we ask that those companies who have contributed to him this year reconsider their support.  Many of these companies have very strong LGBT policies protecting their employees, and continuing to support Garrett would seemingly contradict the spirit of those policies."

Garden State Equality has reviewed the public disclosure of PAC contributions and has asked the following companies and firms to demand their contributions back – and to commit to not making additional contributions until Garrett publicly refutes his reported statements.

The major companies and firms who have contributed to Garrett since the 2014 congressional cycle include:

AFLAC INC. (AFL)
AKIN, GUMP, STRAUSS, HAUER AND FELD
ALLIANZ OF AMERICA CORPORATION (AZSEY)
ALLSTATE INSURANCE CORPORATION (ALL)
ALSTON & BIRD
AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP)
AT&T INC. (T)
BAE SYSTEMS
BAKER & HOSTETLER LLP
BANK OF AMERICA CORP (BAC)
BARCLAYS GROUP (BCS)
BECTON, DICKINSON & CO (BDX)
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP. (BK)
BLACKROCK CAPITAL MANAGEMENT (BLK)
BRANCH BANKING & TRUST CO. (BBT)
CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP (COF)
CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION (SCHW)
CHICAGO BOARD OPTIONS EXCHANGE (CBOE)
CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE (CME)
CHUBB CORPORATION (CB)
CIT GROUP INC (CIT)
CITIGROUP INC. (C)
CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP INC (CFG)
CME GROUP INC (CME)
COMCAST CORPORATION AND NBC UNIVERSAL (CMCSA)
COMERICA, INC. (CMA)
COVINGTON AND BURLING LLP
CREDIT SUISSE SECURITIES
DAVITA INC. (DVA)
DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DFS)
EXPERIAN
EXXONMOBIL (XOM)
FARMERS GROUP, INC.
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS
FIFTH THIRD BANCORP (FITB)
FIRSTENERGY CORP. (FE)
BANK OF AMERICA CORP (BAC)
GEICO
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY (GE)
GENWORTH FINANCIAL INC. (GNW)
GOOGLE INC. (GOOGL)
HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP (HIG)
HSBC
ING AMERICA LIFE
J.P. MORGAN CHASE & CO. (JPM)
KING & SPALDING
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE
LINCOLN NATIONAL CORP (LNC)
LPL FINANCIAL (LPLA)
MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC. (MMC)
MASSACHUSETTS MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE
MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL (MA)
MCGRAW HILL FINANCIAL (MHFI)
METLIFE INC. (MET)
MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL (MDLZ)
MORGAN STANLEY (MS)
NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE
NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE CO
NOMURA HOLDING AMERICA INC (NMR)
NOVO NORDISK (NVO)
NYSE EURONEXT (NYX)
OPPENHEIMER FUNDS
ORACLE AMERICA, INC. (ORCL)
PACIFIC LIFE INSURANCE
PRIMERICA INC (PRI) 
QC HOLDINGS, INC (QCCO)
QUICKEN LOANS, INC
RADIAN GROUP INC. (RDN)
RBC USA HOLDCO CORPORATION (RY)
REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP. (RF)
RBS CITIZENS
SALLIE MAE, INC. (SLM)
SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP
STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANIES
SUN BANCORP (SNBC)
SUNTRUST BANK (STI)
SUSQUEHANNA BANCSHARES INC (SUSQ)
TD BANK (TD)
THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES, INC (TRV)
THE WILLIAMS COMPANIES, INC. (WMB)
TIAA-CREF
U.S. BANCORP (USB)
UBS AMERICAS INC. (UBS)
UNITED AIRLINES (UAL)
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (UPS)
USAA
VANGUARD (VTI)
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS (VZ)
VISA USA INC (V)
WELLS FARGO & CO (WFC)
WEXLER & WALKER
ZURICH GROUP (ZURN)

About Garden State Equality
Garden State Equality is New Jersey's statewide advocacy and education organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

GSE, in collaboration with community partners, led efforts to ensure nondiscrimination for transgender and gender nonconforming people in NJ, pass the most comprehensive anti-bullying law in the country, end sexual orientation and gender identity/expression change efforts in NJ (sometimes called conversion therapy), and bring marriage equality to the Garden State.

In this post-marriage environment, our main focuses are youth, transgender people, and older adults, and our work on those issues is informed by racial, economic, and disability justice concerns. GSE is working on campaigns to address safe environments for youth, improvement of health services that meet LGBT community needs, and respectful treatment of older adults. Beyond that, GSE supports NJ's activist community by bringing an LGBT lens to the shared struggle for justice.

SOURCE Garden State Equality