Arizona's Biggest Companies Graded on LGBT Equality

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil-rights organization, today released its grades of LGBT equality at nearly 1,000 of the nation's largest corporations, including several in Arizona.

While more than 300 companies across the country earned a perfect score for the LGBT-related policies they have in place, none of those companies is based in Arizona. The top-scoring Arizona businesses were U.S. Airways and the Snell & Wilmer law firm, both of which earned scores of 90 out of 100.

Liz Halloran, a spokeswoman for the HRC, tells New Times that the scores for Arizona companies -- an average of 78 -- are still "absolutely" a good sign.

"It indicates that these companies have some good, inclusive policies in place," she says.

See also: -HRC: Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson "Lead the Way in LGBT Equality"

The report grades the companies on things like whether they have prohibitions on LGBT discrimination, whether the companies offer health-insurance benefits for same-sex partners, and whether the company actually engages with the LGBT community. The HRC also deducted points from companies for any recent "public anti-LGBT blemish" on their records.

In total, six Arizona corporations responded to the HRC survey. That includes U.S. Airways and Snell & Wilmer, plus Avnet, PetSmart, Insight Enterprises, and Pinnacle West Capital, which is the parent company of Arizona Public Service (APS).

Two Arizona companies didn't respond to the HRC's requests to participate -- Republic Services, which is a waste-management company, and Freeport-McMoRan, the mining company.

And although a score of 60 would earn you a "D" in high school, Halloran tells us Pinnacle West's score of 60 isn't bad at all. She says a company simply participating in this equality rating shows a certain level of commitment to LGBT issues.

"We'd like to see companies come in and improve their scores as they move along," she adds.

Also consider that a lot of the American companies and law firms that did receive perfect scores employ people in Arizona.

In a statement HRC President Chad Griffin says there are a lot of corporations on the forefront of the equality issue, but there are still a great many that lag too far behind.

"Too many companies still don't guarantee these vital workplace protections, and too many LGBT people--transgender people in particular--face high rates of unemployment and discrimination in hiring, keeping them from ever getting a foot in the door in the first place," he says.

The HRC also recently released its updated scorecards for how city governments deal with LGBT policies, giving perfect scores to Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.

The full report released today by the HRC can be found here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley