Main | Wednesday, November 21, 2007

HRC Plays Grinch To Wal-Mart

I can't imagine that many of you were going to in the first place, but the HRC has issued an alert requesting that teh gays not patronize Wal-Mart this holiday season.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, is giving Wal-Mart (WMT) a red "do not buy" rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.

Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO).

Wal-Mart rival Target (TGT) rated a "green" 80, meaning that "consumers should make every effort to support these businesses." Wal-Mart has bucked a corporate trend of expanding benefits for gay employees, says Daryl Herrschaft, director of HRC's workplace project. He says two Fortune 500 companies offered domestic partner benefits, comparable to spouse benefits, in 1990. Today, 269 do

Finally, something from the HRC that we can all support, although this is a moot issue for New Yorkers, unless they want to schlep to Secaucus, New Jersey. I don't believe I've ever lived anywhere with a Wal-Mart within easy reach. Not that I would have reached. Go to Target for your discount shopping, y'all.

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