The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is America’s premiere benchmarking tool used to measure companies’ adherence to LBGT orthodoxy.
An initiative of the misleadingly named Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the CEI has recently published its 2023 report—and the news is less-than-glittery for hundreds of corporations that have lost their perfect score since 2022.
In 2022, the number of companies to achieve a perfect score was 842. In 2023, only 545 made the cut: a drop of 297 businesses in just 12 months.
Incredibly, among the companies to lose the prized badge were also those to suffer the most self-inflicted damage through 2023 woke overreach. These companies included Target and Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch, which slid 5 and 30 points respectively on CEI’s 100-point scale.
If you ever wanted proof that no amount of pandering will ever please our culture’s self-appointed moral overlords, here it is.
CVS, United Airlines, BP, and Hewlett Packard all likewise lost their perfect scores in 2023 for failing to provide enough LGBT training, incentives, or “outreach.”
In fact, over half of the brands that had been ranked on the index previously achieved a lower score in 2023—and among them were 85 Fortune 500 companies.
Following its takeover by free speech advocate Elon Musk, Twitter lost 125 points in a single year, dropping from its perfect score in 2022 to a rating of negative 25 in 2023. Given Twitter’s uniquely bad score, it seems likely that the company’s involvement in the 2023 survey was just to prove a point.
According to The Washington Stand, even companies that once publicly promoted the radical Equality Act (including the likes of Delta Air Lines, Netflix, Tesla, and Sony) “all lost at least 30 points in the latest report.”
So stringent was HRC’s updated criteria that even if a business was as committed to the tenets of wokeism as they were in 2022, their CEI ranking still would have dropped an average of 45 percent.
Among the high standards required for a company to achieve a score of 100 on the index were
- Specifically targeting LGBT consumers in their marketing
- Providing gender transition guidelines to all employees
- Vetting any contractors or vendors according to their LGBT policies
In addition to this, perfect-score companies were required to cover the cost of gender transition procedures for employees and their children, and the company had to publicly lobby for LGBT bills in state or federal legislatures.
It’s good to see 300 fewer companies bending the knee to this controversial, activist organization. But public companies cannot fulfill their duty to their shareholders while allowing HRC to dictate their operations, messaging, policy engagement, and charitable giving. HRC’s annually escalating manipulation and extortion must be rejected. It’s time for businesses to get back to business.
Indeed, as woke outfits like the Human Rights Commission stretch their demands beyond the realms of achievability, it seems increasingly likely that some companies will give up on woke virtue-signaling altogether—all the more so given the financial and reputational costs incurred by brands like Target and Bud Light.
Doubtless, some of the 1,384 CEOs that participated in the 2023 survey have already begun to question their sacrificial commitment to the woke cause.
Too many more soaring standards and sinking scores, like those seen in the 2023 report, and some companies will begin hanging up their boots.
It would be a welcome reprieve for everyone—especially American consumers and shareholders, who would rather leave radical politics out of their shopping carts.
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