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ExxonMobil Again Rejects Gays
by Ken Poslins
365Gay.com Business News
Once again shareholders at ExxonMobil Corp have rejected plan to ban discrimination against gay employees.
The proposal to ad sexual orientation to the company's written non discrimination policy was sponsored by a group of shareholders including the New York City Employees Retirement System, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Walden Asset Management, the Unitarian Universalist Association and three individual shareholders.
The Exxon's board recommended rejecting the plan at its shareholders' meeting in Dallas this week.
Chairman and chief executive Lee Raymond defended Exxon Mobil's environmental record and said the world's largest publicly traded oil company wouldn't be pressed into making "social statements".
The motion to amend the company policy was rejected by 73% of the shareholders. But, activists still say victory in the defeat.
By garnering 27 per cent of the vote, the group said they had increased shareholder awareness over the past year. The number of shareholders voting for the amendment was up by 15 per cent over the previous attempt to get the motion passed, a year ago.
ExxonMobil's continued resistance to changing its policy leaves it increasingly isolated in corporate America the HRC said after the vote.
Exxon is one of only 10 companies in the Fortune 100, and one of only three companies in the Fortune 50, without such a policy, said HRC's Kim Mills.
Exxon Mobil was needlessly restricting the pool of potential workers, Mills said, pointing out that many other large U.S. corporations have approved similar resolutions, including J.C. Penney Co. this year.
"I am confident that ExxonMobil will ultimately appreciate the necessity of the policy change and adopt this resolution," said William C. Thompson Jr., New York City comptroller and trustee of the New York City Employees' Retirement System, the lead filer of the resolution.
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