Local activists from GetEQUAL — the national LGBT direct action group whose members have been arrested recently in Washington and San Francisco – plan protests outside three ExxonMobil stations in Dallas on Friday, May 14.
The protests are designed to draw attention to Irving-based ExxonMobil’s anti-gay employment practices as well as the need for passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to GetEQUAL’s Mark Reed.
“When the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company with nearly 30,000 employees in the United States refuses to protect the LGBT community against workplace discrimination, it underscores the need for Congress to pass ENDA now,” Reed told me Thursday. “Every day that Congress does not act on ENDA is another day when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees can be fired from ExxonMobil for simply being who they are.”
The rallies will take place outside ExxonMobil stations at 3716 Maple Ave., 4239 Lemmon Ave. and 2503 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas, and GetEQUAL is hoping to have at least 25 people at each location. Anyone interested in participating is invited to attend a planning meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8 at Wiedemark, in Suite 120 of the Ferrer Law Center Building at 2603 Oak Lawn Ave.
GetEQUAL is also calling for protests at ExxonMobil stations around the country on May 21. And on May 26, protesters will gather outside the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, where ExxonMobil shareholders will hold their annual meeting and again vote on a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s employment nondiscrimination policy.
The proposal, which has been introduced every year since 2000, was defeated last year by a margin of about 60 percent to 40 percent in a vote of shareholders.
After Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999, ExxonMobil rescinded Mobil’s LGBT employment protections and domestic partner benefits.
ExxonMobil is one of the few companies that score a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks businesses based on their LGBT-related employment practices.
Reed, Chastity Kirven and Michael Robinson are organizing the May 14 rallies. For more info, visit the Facebook page.