Does HRC Reward Walmart For Having Same/Worse Bathroom Policy As North Carolina?


When we report on the misdoings of individuals working for large corporations, some are quick to exclaim "Ban This!" and "Boycott That!"  When of course what we should be saying is train your employees better or fire the bastards!  I don't think all of us would really boycott an airline because one flight attendant forgot to take his/her humanity pill that day.  But when an organization is truly not towing the line of progress and equality and it is overly blatant, we need to say something.

One of the larger LGBT rights fights, issues, newsworthy battles last year involved North Carolina and its deplorable bathroom bill.  We had stars, politicians, and sports teams boycotting the state and for good reason!  We are all still not happy with how that situation turned out, but a compromise was made and we have not heard too much about it since. 

Around the same time we were jeering North Carolina, we were cheering Target for its forward thinking bathroom policy.

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But as we cheered and still cheer on Target for being part of the human race, should we honor those that are so far behind them? Should we put the lesser companies upon the same pedestal?

The folks at the Human Rights Campaignthe largest, best-funded, and most powerful gay lobby in the worldpublish an annual index that rates major corporations on their so-called “gay friendliness.” They have been doing so for the last fifteen years. This year’s report was of special interest because of the bold move that Target took last year. In the world of LGBT politics, their new and radical bathroom policy was a giant step forward. So, is Target feted on the cover? Did they get a lifetime achievement award?

To be sure, HRC gave Target its highest gold-star rating. Beyond that, though, the company received no special mention by HRC whatsoever. It was merely listed alongside every other corporation listed as 100-percent gay friendly, including Walmart.

Yes, Walmart. Walmart received the very same 100-percent, gold-star, gay-friendly rating as Target. In fact, it was the first of the 100-percent-rated corporations listed in the report. HRC even rated both retailers equally in this year’s “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” report. –

We all had the pitchforks in hand and were headed to NC, but we are handing Walmart a trophy for being worse than an entire state?  Why was that?  We have to ask …

– How can Walmart’s “discriminatory” and “bigoted” policy earn it the same gold-star rating as Target’s groundbreaking “inclusive” one?

– How can a transgender person be told Walmart and Target are equally great places to work when one makes it a matter of policy to ignore the trans person and his or her self-proclaimed “basic life needs”?

It's pretty clear,  just like we all rank men on attractiveness differently, public tar and feather and accolades from the HRC are not using the same checklist. The HRC doesn’t include trans bathroom access as an essential LGBT right in its corporate index, and it never has. It ws mentioned for the first time briefly this year but as optional. An annual Healthcare Equality Index also done by HRC measures the gay friendliness of hospitals and healthcare providers. The organization lists trans bathroom access as optional as well on that report, too, while in the same pages  as it refers to North Carolina’s HB2 as “vile,” “reckless,” and “extreme.”


HRC is telling leading multi-national corporations, “You may hold the same bathroom position that North Carolina did. No worry, this will not affect your rating with us in the slightest.” This, despite the fact that their report takes care to ensure the reader that HRC is committed to being a bold and stalwart leader in the changing landscape here. Their report states…

The HRC Foundation continually examines the criteria and gathers input to guide the future of the criteria [for our ratings]. Changes to the CEI [Corporate Equality Index] criteria are necessary to account for:

1. The changing landscape of legal protections for LGBT employees and their families, both federally and from state to state, and

2. Emerging best practices to meet the needs of LGBT employees and ensure that LGBT employees are treated fairly in the workplace. –

The people over at stated,

Surely HRC would be eager to correct this embarrassing oversight, assuming that’s what it is. Yet this year’s report has an entire section listing criteria changes and adjustments for coming years’ reports. Somehow the bathroom policy is not among them, despite the proud boast that “the most significant progress in the [Corporate Equality Index 2017] has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender inclusive initiatives across businesses.” Seriously? The bathroom issue would appear too obscure to meet their “wide-scale” criteria for future improvements. Insult added to injury. The trans community can only feel stiffed once again by HRC.

They go on to use stronger words and condemnations against HRC.

Wat do you think?  Should the HRC place transgender bathroom rights higher on the list or even on the list instead of optional

Should a corporation lose points in the final round of judging if it has such horrible policies?

Do you pay attention to the HRC reports?




What do you think?