Even if politicians in our deep red state are lagging behind, it seems Texas businesses know a thing or two about good, old fashioned equality, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Each year, the HRC looks at Fortune 500 companies and top law firms around the nation and ranks them according to their LGBT equality on the Corporate Equality Index using five categories: Non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion, public commitment to equality, and responsible citizenship.
This year's index included 44 Texas businesses, and what they found is pretty darn astounding. According to the new rankings, Texas private sector businesses now lead the nation in workplace equality.
Yep, we were surprised too.
But that's not all. Of the 44 Texas companies included on the CEI, a whopping six of them received perfect scores. American Airlines, AT&T, Comerica, Dell, GameStop, and Vinson & Elkins, LLP all scored 100 percent. We're so proud.
And the thing is, quite a few of those Texas businesses did really stinkin' well on the CEI rankings, even if they didn't quite make a perfect score. Businesses like JC Penney and Shell Oil scored about 95 percent, and tons more -- Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments and even Waste Management -- were right up around there too.
There were also some notable statewide improvements from last year's rankings, according to HRC, including two companies based in Houston:
Houston-based ConocoPhillips jumped from 55 to 75 points thanks to a new LGBT employee resource group, and are even developing an LGBT "ally" effort.
Marathon Oil Corp., also based in Houston, kicked ass, too -- jumping from 15 to 75 points -- with a little help from the addition of gender identity to its non-discrimination statement, along with the institution of company-wide gender transition guidelines.
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There were, of course, some Texas companies that could stand to improve -- say, like Exxon Mobil, which scored a zero on the index -- but, fortunately, they were the only company in the state to do that poorly. Plus, there's no where to go but up, right?
There are a handful of others, including Men's Warehouse and H.E.B., that also scored pretty low, -- 30 and 40, respectively -- but overall, we're still pretty proud to be leading the nation as equality-lovin' Texans.
You can check out the full list of Texas companies and their scores here, if you're interested, but just know that Texas is kicking ass and taking names when it comes to equality in private sector businesses, so pat yourselves on the back. Or the cowboy boots.
This is Texas, after all.