Bettie Naylor remembered as ‘creator of the equal rights movement in Texas’

Bettie Naylor

Founding member of Equality Texas, HRC, Annie’s List dies at 84

ANNA WAUGH  |  Staff Writer

Legendary Texas activist Bettie Naylor died Wednesday night in her sleep. She was 84.

Naylor’s partner, Libby Sykora, found her Thursday morning, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

A founding member of Equality Texas, the Human Rights Campaign and Annie’s List, Naylor began lobbying for women’s rights in the ‘60s and began fighting for LGBT rights in the ‘70s, said Chuck Smith, Equality Texas deputy executive director.

While she was married to a man for 30 years, she later came out and embraced her sexuality, Smith said.

The original lobbyist for Equality Texas, Smith said that Naylor helped “change the face of women’s rights and gay rights in Texas.”

“In most respects, she was the creator of the equal rights movement in Texas,” he said.

While Naylor was fierce in her political fights, Smith said she was also funny and sweet.

“It was still easy to like Bettie because she was just so downright charming and fun to be around,” he said.

Although Naylor stopped lobbying in 2009, Smith said she and her partner remained activists in the LGBT community and in Austin.

“The two of them were quite the power couple,” he said.

Dianne Hardy Garcia, former Equality Texas executive director, worked with Naylor for many years in the ‘90s.

“We lost a great leader last night. Bettie was a loyal friend, a wise teacher and a generous soul,” she said. “She was also damn fun! I will forever be grateful to have learned from her and to have loved Bettie Naylor!”

Naylor was honored with Travis County Democratic Party’s Trio of Stars award in 2011. During an interview with the party, she was asked to describe the changes she’s witnessed during her activist and lobbying career.

Her response: “I’m amazed at the changes, although I would like to see things change more rapidly. But I think we’re far more acceptable to people now than we ever were,” Naylor said. “I think some of that has to do with the young gay people who don’t keep their sexuality a secret any more. They’re comfortable being who they are, and they’re not ashamed. You know, I was married for 30 years to a military pilot, and I was ‘outed’ by the San Antonio News-Express — on the front page and with a picture! Because of that, I have never hidden my sexuality, and now I’m very proud of it.”

Amid the sadness of her loss, Smith said Naylor will forever remain in the hearts of activists and the communities she changed for the better.

“She will be hugely missed, but I think that the work she’s done has made us better off,” Smith said. “She’ll always be a part of the LGBT movement in Texas.”

Equality Texas and HRC released statements addressing Naylor’s loss.

Equality Texas and HRC released statements addressing Naylor’s loss.

“Bettie Naylor was a force to be reckoned with, and played a central role in bettering the lives of LGBT people at both the national level and in Texas,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

“As a founding board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and a leader in starting our Austin Steering Committee, Bettie was a tireless advocate and never stopped working to ensure that members of our community received the rights, dignity, and respect that all people deserve. Bettie was driven by a desire to create a future where kids never had to be ashamed of who they were, but could instead live openly and without fear. Today, we live in a country where many loving, committed same-sex couples can marry and start families, where many students can thrive in their communities without fear of violence, and where a growing number of businesses are recognizing the importance of protecting their LGBT employees — these are all part of Bettie’s lasting legacy.”

 This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 20, 2012.

—  Anna Waugh

WATCH: Same-sex couples refuse to file taxes separately, file as married to protest DOMA

The deadline to file taxes is Tuesday, but for many gay couples the deadline isn’t the problem. Instead many couples are refusing to file separately, which they are required to do because the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage because of the Defense of Marriage Act.

A group called Refuse to Lie is telling gay couples to file together in an effort to protest the need for repealing DOMA, so they no longer have to lie about being married by filing as single.

“The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) not only denies legally married gay couples the benefits of marriage, but we are also told to disavow our spouses and file our taxes as ‘single,’” RTL states on its website. “Across the country, legally married gay couples are taking a stand. We are refusing to lie about the fact that we are married. Taking this principled stand is not without risk and each person doing so needs to carefully consider those risks before deciding if it is a stand you are willing to take.”

The Human Rights Campaign has released an issue brief on federal taxation that explains how LGBT families are denied benefits and pay significantly more in taxes.

HRC is encouraging the public to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the message using the hashtag #gaytax and to tweet to House Speaker John Boehner (@speakerboehner) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (@ericcantor) about their stories of tax inequality in an effort to get them to stop defending DOMA.

Watch a segment on the movement from MSNBC below:

—  Anna Waugh

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin says she hopes Democrats add marriage equality to party platform

HISTORIC CAMPAIGN | Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., speaks Saturday during the DFW Federal Club's Spring 2012 Luncheon. Baldwin is vying to become the first openly LGBT person in the U.S. Senate.

Having a seat at the table has never mattered more for the LGBT community than in the 2012 election cycle, according to Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., who’s vying to become the first openly gay U.S. senator.

Baldwin, who in 1998 became the first out non-incumbent elected to Congress, was in Texas last weekend to raise money from LGBT donors for her Senate campaign. She attended a private gathering Friday night in Dallas before speaking Saturday at the Human Rights Campaign’s Dallas/Fort Worth Federal Club’s Spring 2012 Luncheon, at the Tower Club on the 48th floor of Thanksgiving Tower in downtown Dallas. Baldwin traveled to Houston for a brunch hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund on Sunday.

Baldwin is endorsed by both HRC and the Victory Fund.

Just recovering from losing her voice, Baldwin spoke softly Saturday afternoon as she gave an address that appeared to be one part standard stump speech infused with one part rallying cry for LGBT equality. Baldwin talked about the huge advances the LGBT movement has made since she was first elected 14 years ago — but also about how much work remains to be done.

“Whether the objective is large or small, whether the arena is public or private, whether you are a lone voice or a chorus of thousands, having a seat at the table matters, and this election season, I would argue that it has never mattered more,” Baldwin told the group of some 200 at the Tower Club.

—  John Wright

Human Rights Campaign teams with the band fun. at tonight’s House of Blues concert

If you already have your ticket to tonight’s fun. concert at House of Blues, then you’re ahead of the game. The Human Rights Campaign has teamed with the band to spread a message of equality. You know, the usual.

Read the HRC.com post after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Tammy Baldwin to speak in Dallas on Saturday

Rep. Tammy Baldwin

Rep. Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, who’s vying in 2012 to become the first openly LGBT person elected to the Senate, will speak in Dallas on Saturday at the Spring Luncheon of the Human Rights Campaign’s Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Club.

Federal Club representative Timothy Thomas said the luncheon isn’t limited to Federal Club members. However, admission is free to Federal Club and Steering Committee members, but $50 for the general public. Seating is limited to 200, but as of this morning seats were still available.

The luncheon begins at 10:30 a.m. with coffee and mimosas. The lunch and program begins at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon is at The Tower Club on the 48th floor of Thankgiving Tower, 1601 Elm St. in Dallas.

Register by going here.

—  John Wright

HRC taps Chad Griffin as its next president

Chad Griffin, left, and Joe Solmonese

38-year-old founder of AFER, which brought Prop 8 lawsuit, to lead nation’s largest gay-rights group

LISA KEEN  |  Keen News Service

The next president of the nation’s largest LGBT political group will be Chad Griffin, a California activist who’s made a name for himself by initiating and orchestrating one of the most important legal challenges in LGBT history. Griffin will replace current Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese in June.

Griffin, 38, is the founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that enlisted the legal services of some of the nation’s best lawyers to launch a lawsuit against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. The lawsuit, which so far has succeeded in having Proposition 8 declared unconstitutional in both federal district court and by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is considered one of the most important pieces of litigation in LGBT history.

The Human Rights Campaign announced Griffin’s appointment Friday.

“We’re ecstatic to have someone of Chad’s caliber as our next president,” HRC co-chair Tim Downing and HRC Foundation co-chair Sandra Hartness said in a joint statement. “His superior credentials and achievements, both as a visionary and strategist, make him uniquely qualified to lead this organization forward. Chad has a proven track record of consistently delivering results during his career. That’s something that our community rightly expects and deserves.”

Through an HRC press release, Griffin said he was honored by the HRC board’s decision.

“While there’s no doubt that we’ve made tremendous progress on the road to equality, we must not forget that millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic legal protections and suffer the consequences of discrimination every day,” said Griffin. “Today’s generation of young people, and each generation hereafter, must grow up with the full and equal protection of our laws, and finally be free to participate in the American dream. As HRC president, I’ll approach our work with a great sense of urgency because there are real-life consequences to inaction.”

Log Cabin Republicans National President R. Clarke Cooper called Griffin “a leader who knows achieving victory will require advocacy and champions on both sides of the [partisan] aisle.”

Solmonese, whose contract with HRC was scheduled to end this month, will stay on until Griffin takes the helm June 11.

Griffin was a relative unknown to the LGBT community nationally until he organized the lawsuit, Perry v. Brown, against Proposition 8. He enlisted lead attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, two of the best and best-known attorneys in the country, to take the case, drawing a flood of publicity and optimism to the prospects for success in striking down the ban.

The announcement of that lawsuit drew resistance from many established LGBT legal activists at first. Many thought that taking the marriage issue into federal court — a seemingly inevitable issue for the U.S. Supreme Court — was risky and premature, given the growing conservatism of the high court. They wanted a lawsuit to evolve out of a careful campaign of public education. Even renowned constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe believed the timing was risky. Tensions were so high at one point, Griffin’s legal team opposed the appointment of LGBT legal groups as intervenors in the case, leaving the LGBT community essentially out of the loop in a case that would directly impact it.

But as the litigation developed, Griffin and his litigators began to work with LGBT legal group leaders and the tensions turned quickly into teamwork.

Prior to founding the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), Griffin was a founding partner of the political communications and campaign firm of Griffin|Schein in Los Angeles.

A native of Arkansas, Griffin also worked for a time in the White House communications office of President Bill Clinton.

HRC is perhaps the LGBT national community’s most stable organization, having changed leaders on a fairly consistent basis every six years. The organization was established in 1978 by Steve Endean and hired Washington, D.C., activist Vic Basile as executive director in 1983. Basile was followed by Massachusetts activist Tim McFeeley in 1989, California leader Elizabeth Birch in 1995, Washington operative Joe Solmonese in 2005, and now by Griffin.

© 2012 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

 

—  John Wright

Getting ready for Her HRC

"Psycho Shanon"

The Human Rights Campaign Dallas-Fort Worth is joining a national effort to get more women involved in HRC with the third annual “Her HRC” party next Sunday, Jan. 15, at Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton.

Drag entertainer Cassie Nova will be the host for the event, which starts when the doors open at 2 p.m. The part includes a trivia tournament (teams need to register between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. that day), and the Bachelorette Auction starts at 5 p.m. Radio personality Psycho Shanon from the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show on KISS 106.1 FM will be auctioneer.

Admission is only $10 for those 18 and up, and that admission fee includes HRC membership for a year.

Similar events are being held in 12 other cities around the country next weekend, with four more scheduled later. Organizers for the Dallas gathering warn that space is limited and the club is expected to fill up quickly, so get there early.

For a full list of events taking place around the country, and for more information on each, go here. For more information on Her HRC, go here. And for more information on HRC in general, go here.

—  admin

Anable applying for top spot at HRC

Fairness Fort Worth president knows he is new to the activism game, but says there is no denying his passion for the work

Anable-vertical-1-col

Tom Anable

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

FORT WORTH  — As 2010 came to an end a year ago, longtime CPA and newly minted gay rights activist Tom Anable came to a momentous decision: He decided to sell his accounting business and spend the next year focusing on activism full time.

Now that year is over, and Anable has made another decision that could change his life again: He is applying for the top position at the Human Rights Campaign.

When HRC President Joe Solmonese announced that he was resigning, effective March 2012, Anable said, “My first thought was, ‘I pity the fool who has to try and fill those shoes.’ Now, three months later, I have started the process to apply myself.”

Anable said Thursday afternoon, Jan. 5, that he had sent his resume to the executive recruiting firm hired by HRC to help in the hiring process. Within 30 minutes, he said, he had been called for an in-depth phone interview, after which he was told his resume is being forwarded to the HRC search committee for review.

“I passed step one. Next step will be early February,” Anable said.
For most of his adult life, Anable said, he had focused his attention on his work. He knew he was gay, but he avoided the political and activist side of the LGBT community completely. Then came June 29, 2009, the night that agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and officers with Fort Worth Police Department raided the Rainbow Lounge on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

As the accountant for Rainbow Lounge, Anable was in the bar the night of the raid, checking receipts. What he saw that night left him shaken and scared — and angry. Within days, Anable had stepped across the line into activism and was helping create a new organization, Fairness Fort Worth, that has since helped revitalize the LGBT community in Tarrant County. And Anable spent the last year as Fairness Fort Worth president.

“It’s been a wild 2 ½ years,” Anable said this week.

Anable said that he first began considering applying for the position of HRC president in mid-December after discussions with some HRC board members while he was in Washington, D.C. for meetings.

“They told me I should apply. At first, I thought, no way. But when I read the job description, I realized, hey, I actually am qualified for this job. I actually do meet the qualifications in this job description,” he said.

When he came back home to Fort Worth and discussed the possibility with friends here, Anable said, he got nothing but encouragement in return: “Carol West, Jon Nelson, [Fort Worth Police] Chief Halstead — they all said I should apply.”

Still, Anable said, “It took me at least a week to wrap my head around the idea, to decide whether this is something I really want to do,” he said. “I did a lot of soul-searching about this. It was a very sobering moment for me, an unbelievable moment for me personally, to realize that in just 2 ½ years I have gone from being just a CPA to being an activist and president of Fairness Fort Worth, to the point where I actually feel qualified enough to even think about applying to HRC.”

Anable readily acknowledges that he is very new to the world of activism and nonprofit management, and he acknowledges that he “may not be what they are looking for” when it comes to the HRC presidency.

“But I do believe that I can apply and be seriously considered. I may be new to this, but no one can deny my passion, and this is a passion I have never had for anything in my life before,” Anable said. “Accounting is not something you get passionate about. Doing tax returns is not a passionate calling. But this, activism, this is about passion.”

Anable said that he knows the HRC board has recently completed a strategic assessment to
decide “what kind of leader they want” to bring in to replace Solmonese. “I don’t know what they’ve decided, and I know I may not be it. What are my odds of getting the job? Probably not that good because I haven’t been doing this very long. But I am going to try.

“All I know is that I am going to apply. If I make the first cut, I’ll say, ‘Thank God.’ If I make the second cut, I’ll say, ‘Thank God.’ And if I get the job, I’ll say, ‘Oh, God!’” he laughed. “But if I do get it, I know I will love every minute of it.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Top 10: Out & Equal summit drew 2,600

Berry-Selisse

CORPORATE EQUALITY | Out & Equal founder Selisse Berry spoke at the Workplace Summit held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in October. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

No. 10

The Out & Equal Workplace Summit held Oct. 22-25 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel broke records and had a bigger impact on the city than any other LGBT conference Dallas has hosted.

More than 2,600 people registered for the convention, with participants coming from 42 states and 23 countries.

That included 60 corporate CEOs, including Wes Bush of Northrop Grumman and Mike Ullman of J.C. Penney, who both addressed the LGBT group.

According to Out & Equal spokesman Justin Tanis, the Workplace Summit raised a total of $2.5 million.

The Thursday night gala’s live and silent auctions brought in $74,660 that will benefit the Out & Equal Scholarship Fund for LGBT students.

The conference had a big impact on the local economy both in the LGBT community and Dallas in general.

At the Thursday night dinner, Bush handed Youth First Texas’ Sam Wilkes a check for $20,000.

According to Cordey Lash, a senior sales manager with the Hilton Anatole, the conference had a $3 million impact on the hotel, which included about 6,000 room-nights plus food and beverage sales. During three nights of the conference, the Anatole sold out, so three neighboring hotels filled hundreds of additional rooms.

Lash called the Summit “one of the most impactful conferences of the year.”

He also expected future business from corporations whose executives attended and were impressed with the city and his hotel’s facilities.

The conference had an impact on local LGBT merchants as well. Wednesday was Out & Equal community night.

The Cedar Springs strip was as crowded as on a busy Saturday night.

While many of the attendees were from companies that affirm and encourage diversity and have top ratings in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, the conference also attracted employees of companies such as ExxonMobil that have poor ratings.

And the conference wasn’t all business. Top-name entertainment included Candis Cayne, the first transgender actress to have a recurring role on a primetime network series (Dirty, Sexy Money); comedians Margaret Cho and Kate Clinton; actors Meredith Baxter and Wilson Cruz; and the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Speakers included Andy Cohen, Bravo’s openly gay senior vice president of original programming and development; and Rick Welts, president and chief of operations for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Because evaluations of the event from attendees were so positive, Tanis said Out & Equal is already talking to the Anatole about returning, possibly as early as 2014.

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Exxon Mobil hits new LGBT low

Company is 1st with negative score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index

IMG_0496

HIGH OCTANE | Queer activist CD Kirven participates in a protest organized by GetEQUAL in 2010 outside the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, where Exxon Mobil's shareholders held their annual meeting. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

JOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer
wright@dallasvoice.com

IRVING — Exxon Mobil Corp. has again made history for its anti-gay employment practices.

The Irving-based company, which is No. 2 on the Fortune 500 and has more than 80,000 employees worldwide, last week became the first business to ever receive a negative score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index.

The 2012 edition of the Index, which marks the 10th anniversary of HRC’s scorecard, includes ratings for 636 major companies based on their LGBT-related employment practices.

Exxon Mobil failed to meet any of the criteria for the 2012 Index, and had points deducted for engaging in activities that undermine LGBT equality. As a result, the company received a score of minus-25 from HRC.

Before Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999, Mobil offered domestic partnership benefits and had an employment nondiscrimination policy that included sexual orientation. However, ExxonMobil did away with both the benefits and the policy after the merger, and has repeatedly resisted shareholder efforts to amend the policy to protect gay employees.

The 2012 Index marks the first year HRC has handed out negative scores, and Exxon Mobil was the only company to receive one.

“For over a decade, HRC has urged Exxon Mobil to re-evaluate its employment practices and policies regarding LGBT employees,” HRC spokesman Paul Guequierre said. “They continue to give us, and the entire LGBT community, the cold shoulder.”

William F. Holbrook, a spokesman for ExxonMobil, sent Dallas Voice a copy of the company’s “Corporate Citizenship Report,” which says it has a “zero-tolerance” policy against “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

However, Guequierre said the Corporate Citizenship Report isn’t an Equal Employment Opportunity statement, and lacks the legal force an EEO statement carries.

Exxon Mobil’s report also says the company offers health benefits to the partners of gay employees in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, but goes by federal law in the U.S., which only recognizes heterosexual spouses.

Holbrook declined to further discuss the company’s negative score on the CEI.

Exxon Mobil was one of three companies to receive the 25-point deduction for undermining LGBT equality on the 2012 Index. The other two were New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. and Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner LLP.

Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Project, said Verizon was penalized for resisting a shareholder resolution to add gender identity to the company’s employment nondiscrimination policy; while Foley & Lardner was docked for representing the National Organization for Marriage in campaigns against marriage equality in the District of Columbia and Minnesota.

Verizon received an overall score of 20, while Foley & Lardner got a 60.

“It is not a designation that we take lightly,” Fidas said of the 25-point deduction for undermining LGBT equality. “These businesses did nothing to rectify these particular situations.”

On a more positive note, Fort Worth-based AMR Corp. (American Airlines) is one of only nine companies that have received perfect scores every year since the Index began in 2002, Fidas said. The others are Aetna Inc., Alcatel-Lucent, Apple Inc., Eastman Kodak Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nike Inc., Replacements Ltd. and Xerox Corp.

Those nine employers all managed to maintain their scores of 100 on the 2012 CEI despite new, more stringent criteria — most notably a requirement to offer comprehensive transgender health benefits, including coverage for gender reassignment surgery.

Lauri Curtis, vice president for diversity at American Airlines, said adding comprehensive trans health benefits was “the right thing to do for our business.”

“We don’t look at it as how difficult it was,” Curtis said. “The bottom line is that we have a very diverse population, both our employees as well as our customers, and that’s really what we true ourselves to. That’s our driving guidepost as it relates to our diversity efforts.

“At the end of the day it’s all about equality and respect for everyone,” she added. “I think it just underscores that this is serious stuff to us, because it’s just part of who we are. It’s been part of who we are for a long time.”

American Airlines and AT&T Inc. were the only North Texas-based companies that satisfied all of the new criteria and received perfect scores on the 2012 CEI. That’s down from nine local companies that received HRC’s top rating on the 2011 index.

Nationally, 190 companies received perfect scores this year, down from 337 last year. But Fidas said comparing this year’s scores to last year’s amounts to apples and oranges. In addition to trans health coverage, HRC added criteria in 2012 related to “soft” partner benefits, organizational competency on LGBT issues, and public support for equality.

“It’s a new standard,” Fidas said. “We raised the bar in these four significant areas, and some businesses are just going to take a little more time to get there. We don’t see that as a drop or a lack of commitment.”

In fact, Fidas said, this year’s Index shows remarkable progress as employers strive to meet the new criteria. For example, two years ago, only 49 employers offered comprehensive trans health benefits, but since then the number has jumped to 207.

Representatives from North Texas-based companies that lost their perfect scores on this year’s CEI said they’re disappointed but committed to working toward re-establishing them.

“Anytime that you were on a list and then you’re not a on a list, it does cause some angst,” said Steve Lyle, chief diversity officer for Dallas-based Texas Instruments, which received a 90 on the 2012 Index after four consecutive years of perfect scores. “We don’t want that segment or our employee population to feel disenfranchised because TI’s no longer on this list, or feel like we care less today than we did last week.”

That’s why the company sent emails to LGBT employees in advance of the Index’s release explaining the reason for the lower score: The company’s insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, doesn’t consider gender reassignment surgery to be a medically necessary procedure.

Texas Instruments could have overridden Blue Cross’ decision at a minimal cost, Lyle said. However, that would have been unfair to employees who want coverage for other procedures that aren’t considered medically necessary, including growth hormones for children and in vitro fertilization.

Lyle added that TI is interested in working with HRC and other employers to convince insurance providers that gender reassignment surgery — historically regarded as cosmetic — should instead be deemed medically necessary.

“We’re in the business of making electronics, not in determining medical necessity, but we do want to influence the conversation, because it aligns with our values,” said Lyle, who’s openly gay. “We want to be able to offer benefits to our employees that are necessary for them, but we also want to have internal equity of those benefits.”

Plano-based J.C. Penney Company Inc. also lost points for failing to offer comprehensive trans health benefits, and saw its score drop from a 100 to an 85.  Daphne Avila, a spokesman for J.C. Penney, said in an email this week that the company will “continue to explore cost-effective options for improving associate benefits.”

“Given our record of achieving a perfect score three out of the past four years, our current ranking is not where we would like it to be,” Avila wrote. “While the new guidelines present opportunities for advancement across all industries, our score – albeit not poor – does not accurately reflect our overall commitment to inclusion and diversity. … While we are unable to guarantee our future standings, please know that we are already evaluating the 2013 HRC criteria and are looking for opportunities to raise the bar.”

Representatives from Grapevine-based GameStop, which saw its score drop from 100 last year to 75 this year; and Dallas-based Brinker International, which saw its score drop from 100 to 60, didn’t respond to requests for comment this week.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas