Exxon protest in Tampa
Protesters gather outside a Mobil station in Tampa, Fla., on May 21.

Environmental and LGBT groups will gather Wednesday morning outside the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, during Irving-based ExxonMobil Corp.‘s annual shareholders meeting.

For the LGBT groups, the issue is inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the company’s nondiscrimination policy. Mobil included LGBT employees in its nondiscrimination policy and offered domestic partner benefits. But when the two companies merged in the late 1990s, those protections and benefits were rescinded.

Interestingly, Exxon’s board of directors includes several CEOs from other companies with more inclusive policies.

Some examples include ExxonMobil board member Marilyn Carlson Nelson, who is the chairman of the board of Carlson Companies (TGI Fridays, Radisson Hotels). Carlson has a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

ExxonMobil board member Samuel J. Palmisano is the chairman, president and CEO at IBM, which also has a perfect score on the CEI.

Edward E. Whitacre Jr., a Texas native, is chairman of the board and CEO at General Motors, and chairman emeritus of AT&T. Both those companies score 100 percent on the index.

A proposal too add LGBT protections to ExxonMobil’s nondiscrimination policy has gotten closer to passing each year since it was first introduced in 1999.

The protest begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The shareholders meeting begins at 9 a.m. To sign a petition that GetEQUAL will deliver to the shareholders, go here.

At the protest Friday in Tampa.

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