Thursday, February 23, 2017

It Is Hard…

…To find something else to write about not related to Trump’s Executive Order, so I had to dig into my file on possible articles to write about.
Tillerson declines to say whether ‘gay rights are human rights’
The Washington Blade
by Michael K. Lavers
January 11, 2017

President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of state on Wednesday declined to specifically say whether “gay rights are human rights.”

“American values don’t accommodate violence or discrimination against anyone,” said former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson in response to a question U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) asked during his confirmation hearing that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held.

Coons also asked Tillerson whether he believes the promotion of gay rights is “a piece of our human rights advocacy and agenda around the world.”

“That’s part of that American values that we protect,” said Tillerson.

Tillerson did not specifically mention lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people.

Coons noted in his question that he previously met with a woman from Zimbabwe who received asylum in the U.S. because she was tortured “for who she was.” He also told Tillerson, who was a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board when it voted to allow openly gay scouts into the organization in 2013, that he was “encouraged by his tough leadership moment.”
ExxonMobil was boycotted back in the 2000s because they wouldn’t provide benefits for LGBT people including marriage benefits for same-sex couples. Back in 2013 the Huffington Post ran this article,
Exxon Mobil’s Anti-Gay Discrimination Policy Rejection Slammed By GetEQUAL Advocacy Group

A group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists are decrying Exxon Mobil shareholders’ decision not to explicitly ban discrimination against potential gay employees.

Members of national LGBT advocacy group GetEQUAL released the following statement via email in response to a 4-to-1 ratio vote defeating a resolution to ban anti-gay discrimination:

“ExxonMobil continues to dig in its heels to prove that it is one of the most ardent proponents of LGBT discrimination in the country. While ExxonMobil rakes in billions of dollars in federal contracts each year — paid for with taxpayer money — it’s stunning that the company is so actively and blatantly out of step with the three-quarters of the American public who support LGBT workplace protections.”

As the Associated Press pointed out, the Exxon board argued that the company didn’t need to add language regarding LGBT employees to its pre-existing policy, which bans discrimination of any type. Shareholders had previously rejected anti-bias and climate change resolutions in recent years.

Recently, Exxon — the nation’s largest oil and gas company — received a score below zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) ranking of corporate policies towards LGBT employees.

Exxon officials had reportedly been sent two nearly identical resumes for a job opening at its office in Patoka, Ill. by LGBT advocacy group Freedom to Work in conjunction with a high-powered Washington law firm. One of the fictional applicants had been depicted as a gay rights activist and did not receive a callback despite having significantly higher high school and college grades than the other, who was contacted, according to the AP.
And two years ago the Illinois Department of Human Rights found according to Washington Blade.
For the first time, the findings from the Illinois Department of Human Rights reveal ExxonMobil’s defense for opting to choose the less qualified non-LGBT candidate over the more qualified LGBT candidate.

According to findings, Dona Steadman, a human resource adviser for ExxonMobil, denied sexual orientation was a factor in the hiring decision. She testified she selected in the initial screening process for her boss 35 applicants out of the 51 who applied by “looking at their experience, not their volunteer work and their education.”

“Steadman stated she did not have a narrowing tool, her process was to open the resume and skim it for certain words,” the finding states. “She felt 35 applicants was a significant number of applicants to pass on. She felt she was passing on a lot of documents for review and she was providing a lot of candidates with experience he had outlined. She was not keeping a tracking sheet for all 51 of them, in fact, she does not know if she opened all 51 of them.”

Although the straight candidate was included in the 35 applications chosen, the LGBT candidate wasn’t included in that group, Steadman testified.
And now the person who was the CEO of ExxonMobil is the Secretary of State, do you think he will support LGBT rights in the UN or around the world?

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