Nigel Campbell's picture

AT&T Contributes To Anti-LGBT Texas Gubernatorial Candidate

​Why is AT&T giving money to an anti-LGBT candidate? The Texas-based telecommunications company has given $75,000 this year to anti-gay Republican candidate Greg Abbott. 

Abbott is the state's Attorney General.

According to Lone Star Q, Texas's statewide LGBT news source:

Abbott has also intervened repeatedly to block gay couples married in other states from obtaining divorces in Texas. He  has opposed benefits for the same-sex partners of Houston city employees, and issued an opinion saying he believes domestic partner benefits offered by local government entities are illegal. Abbott opposed passage of an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in San Antonio, and has declined to disavow a plank in the Texas GOP platform endorsing gay conversion therapy.​

He's not exactly an ally to the LGBT cause. 

Detailing AT&T's contributions, Lone Star Q writes:

Dallas-based AT&T Inc., long considered a strong corporate LGBT ally, has contributed $75,000 to anti-gay Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign for governor in 2014, according to campaign finance reports from the Texas Ethics Commission.

The reports show that AT&T’s Texas PAC gave $50,000 to Abbott’s campaign in January, and another $25,000 in June. AT&T also contributed $50,000 to Abbott’s campaign in June 2013, shortly before he formally announced his bid for governor.

Abbott, who faces Democrat Wendy Davis in November, has vigorously defended Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage in both state and federal court.

So what does AT&T have to say?

“The PAC supports a variety of candidates for a variety of reasons,” AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said in an email to Lone Star Q, in response to an inquiry about the contributions to Abbott. “The PAC does not comment on reasons for contributions, but publicly discloses contributions consistent with state requirements.

“Diversity and inclusion are part of AT&T’s culture and operations, and we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in this area,” Richter added. “Diversity Inc recently named AT&T No. 1 on its 2014 Top 10 Employers for LGBT Employees. And every year since 2004 we’ve received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for our fair treatment of our LGBTQ employees, including protection against discrimination, parity of health care benefits for domestic partners and other criteria.”

While we certainly applaud AT&T for its efforts on behalf of LGBT employees, shouldn't those efforts extend to supporting elected officials that help create policy in support of said LGBT employees? 

What do you think, Instincters?

 

Comments

While it is disappointing that AT&T donated money to this candidate, I have to play devil's advocate and say that there isn't going to always be a political ally that you agree with 100%. Facebook just did the same thing but you didn't report on that (http://www.newsweek.com/facebook-made-10000-donation-politician-fighting-same-sex-marriage-264796). To assume that they had malicious intent against the LGBT community is just wrong. I am proud to work for AT&T for over 10 years. Not every corporate action is going to appeal to every demographic or walk of life. Marriage Equality is moving very fast, even in Texas, and soon the opinions of those like Abbott will be a thing of the past; but it's just irrational to think that politics won't keep on full steam ahead in the meantime. 

I call bullshit! They did report about Facebook's donation. This is all about money and corporate deals. While many social issues are moving forward, the pace is slowed if not halted for years because the companies involved only care about the bottom line. 

Sure they may have not intended to "blah blah blah", but you can't tell me they don't know the who, what, when or why of where that money is going. I have been an AT&T customer longer than you've worked there. While they are a great communications company their customer relations and public image has always been questionable. 

Be proud of working for a leader for that look but don't pee on me and call it rain. (And no I'm not leaving AT&T yet they got one more strike left)

Where did they report on it? And I'm not talking about years ago, I'm talking about the recent donations, because I just did another search and I don't see it. I could be wrong, but if it was just as important, it should be fairly easy to find.

... but, you're right. They're focusing on the business, not social issues, as they should. People got upset when companies were allowed to donate money to candidates, but you only hear about it when they donate to a candidate who they don't like or don't agree with. If they had done the same to someone without any history of pro- or anti-gay views, this wouldn't even be "news". At least not on this website. And pace has not slowed, it's sped up - especially with regards to Marriage Equality (which AT&T is completely supportive of). 

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