Spokeswoman says Houston-based company has no plans to add protections for LGBT employees
Perry Homes officials acknowledged this week that they have no plans to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their employee anti-discrimination policy.
Erin Blaney of Allyn and Co., a spokeswoman for the Houston-based homebuilders, said the company employees a diverse workforce and that it complies with all local, state and federal employment guidelines.
“Perry Homes has a great relationship with all employee groups,” Blaney said.
“At this time they do not feel the need to change any employment policies.”
Blaney said she was unsure whether Perry Homes has an LGBT employee relations group, whether it employs any LGBT personnel in management positions or if the company would later review the decision not to revise the anti-discrimination policy.
“I do know that Perry Homes thinks every community is very important,” Blaney said.
The statement came in response to demands by a gay Dallas activist, Mike LoVuolo, that the company provide proof that its anti-discrimination policy protects employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
LoVuolo met with Perry Homes’ vice president of land planning, Megan R. Sigler, in January, and she promised him LGBT employees had never been discriminated against, he said.
LoVuolo approached Perry Homes officials because of his concerns about the company’s founder, Robert J. Perry, contributing $165,000 in 2005 to Proposition 2, the anti-gay marriage amendment that Texas voters approved.
The proliferation of Perry Homes’ products in Oak Lawn and other Dallas neighborhoods and the sale of them to LGBT buyers prompted him to act, the activist said.
LoVuolo said Sigler had seemed receptive to the idea of the company adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the anti-discrimination policy if it did not already exist.
LoVuolo said he was disappointed to receive a letter from Sigler that made no mention of LGBT employees.
Sigler wrote in the letter that the company is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and that it is committed to building “strong relationships with people from every community in Dallas and throughout the state.”
LoVuolo said that Sigler now will not take nor return his phone calls. A company attorney he was referred to also ignores his calls, he said.
“I’m not a happy camper at all,” LoVuolo said. “They’ve just decided to ignore us. The whole twist on the story is that their gay and lesbian employees are happy at their job therefore it really is not necessary to change anything. We don’t discriminate so there is no need for us to put it in writing because we don’t do it.”
LoVuolo said Perry Homes representatives declined to reveal the identity of the official or department in the company making the decision not to revise the anti-discrimination policy.
LoVuolo said he now plans to meet with the leaders of LGBT organizations to develop a plan to compile a list of companies doing business in Dallas that have anti-discrimination policies protecting LGBT employees.
“We’ll publish the list so people can make an informed decision on whose houses to buy, where to shop, where to buy gas, where to do food shopping and all that kind of stuff,” LoVuolo said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 9, 2007