Don't get all excited that this is about good corporate citizenship or about organizations 'living their corporate values'. It isn't.
The FORTUNE 500 has reached consensus: homophobia is not good business.
Capitalists know where it's at. From the folks at ProudParenting.com:
Five years ago, a minority of FORTUNE 500 companies provided sexual orientation workplace protection. Currently, 461 (92.2%) of the 2005 FORTUNE 500 Companies protect gay employees. Vanguard recently decided to vote its proxy for sexual orientation workplace protection. Vanguard and other institutional stewards understand that diversity is in the best corporate and shareholder interest.
The GLBT market is far larger than realized. Voters News Service and Zogby International data reflect that between 4% to 5% of the American voting population self-identifies as gay or lesbian. According to studies, there are 15 million adult GLBT Americans.
If we could get that 4% to 5% to vote in a block, gays and lesbians could be a powerful swing vote in every US election. And that number looks like currently registered voters. Imagine what might be possible with all gays and lesbians registered to vote. But that's not what the Fortune 500 care about....
The 15 million adult GLBT Americans with a $610 billion annual buying power compares with 9.3 million adult Asian Americans with a $344 billion annual buying power, 23.8 million adult African Americans with a $688 billion annual buying power and 26.5 million adult Hispanic Americans with a $653 billion annual buying power.
Its not about fairness or equality for their GLBT employees and customers, it's about getting our money. This doesn't make me feel any better about human nature, but a win is a win, I suppose.
Corporate America has become an instrument of social change. Social conservatives not only find themselves up against core American values such as fairness, but also core principles of free enterprise. Efficient capitalism requires bottom line decisions.Hypothetically, what do you think would happen to gays and lesbians if supporting their civil rights no longer aligned with profit maximumization and the corporate good?
Corporate America has become an ally of GLBT rights not only because so many agree with equality, but because the result is consistent with profit maximization.
"Buggered is it?"