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Human Rights Campaign releases 2008 'Buying for Equality' guide
Human Rights Campaign releases 2008 'Buying for Equality' guide
With the official beginning of the holiday shopping season set to start on Black Friday, the Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest GLBT civil rights organization - released a new guide listing hundreds of popular American brands ranked on their company's GLBT inclusiveness. The publication, "Buying for Equality," breaks products into easily distinguishable purchasing categories. Companies and their products are compared using the criteria of the HRC Foundation's nationally respected Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates GLBT workplace policies and practices.

"Knowing the tremendous buying power that exists within the GLBT and straight ally community, the 'Buying for Equality' guide has become an important resource for shoppers during the holiday season," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "By purchasing products from companies supporting GLBT equality, shoppers are sending a clear message that will directly impact a company's bottom line."

GLBT buying power is estimated to be $723 Billion in 2008, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communication/Marketresearch.com. In a separate study by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive, research also showed 78% of Gay and Lesbian adults and 77% of heterosexuals are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees, including Gays and Lesbians. One in four Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender adults say they have switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports causes that benefit the GLBT community.

"From making travel arrangements, purchasing children's toys, to shopping for the family groceries, this guide empowers equality minded shoppers ," said Solmonese.

This is the third year the HRC has published "Buying for Equality." The 2007 guide was viewed and downloaded off of HRC's website more than 250,000 times. The popular guide draws comparisons between products, services and retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis. The ratings are based upon the HRC Foundation's 2008 Corporate Equality Index which this year granted 195 companies a perfect 100% score (the highest number ever recorded), including 104 of the Fortune 500 companies.

Companies and products are divided based on their Index score into red, yellow, and green sections so that consumers can easily determine which brands support GLBT equality.

o Green (80-100): Consumers should make every effort to support these businesses.

o Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace, but there is still progress to be made.

o Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that have more work to do in furthering equality. If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.

This year, the Buying for Equality guide features businesses which have not responded to HRC's attempts to gather information on GLBT workplace policies and programs. HRC looks forward to building relationships with these businesses to evaluate and report their policies in the future.

The guide is available for download and viewing online: www.hrc.org/buyersguide.

A Human Rights Campaign press release

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