by Allie Martin and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) – One pro-family group is hoping a worldwide leader in the oil industry stands fast and refuses to give in to a threatened boycott by pro-homosexual forces over the company's employee benefits programs.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest homosexual and lesbian rights organization in the U.S. On Wednesday, HRC called for a nationwide boycott of ExxonMobil because the oil giant refuses to include “sexual orientation” in its non-discrimination policy and to open its domestic partner benefits program to all homosexual employees. As part of the actions in the boycott, HRC is calling for its supporters to stop buying gas at Exxon and Mobil service stations, destroy their ExxonMobil gasoline credit cards, and express their displeasure via e-mail or letter.
The HRC is also asking ExxonMobil stockholders to keep the stock and pledge to vote next year in favor of a proposed shareholder resolution asking the company to add the words “sexual orientation” to its written non-discrimination policy. ExxonMobil insists that its current policy already prohibits discrimination or harassment of any kind, and that its domestic partner benefits are guided by the laws of the 200 countries where it operates.
The American Family Association, a pro-family organization based in Tupelo, Mississippi, is encouraging concerned Christians to support ExxonMobil in the face of the HRC boycott. Among other things, AFA wants its supporters to patronize Exxon and Mobil gas stations and to let them know why they are doing so.
AFA executive assistant Buddy Smith says pro-family activists need to encourage ExxonMobil to stand firm on the issue. “The homosexual activist community is very intent on showing their actions at the gas pumps,” Smith says. “I think families who care Christian families who are concerned about future generations should take note of this and counter it at the gas pump.”
Smith calls HRC's actions another example of homosexual activists trying to undermine pro-family values. “The activists at HRC will not be content until every traditional belief about human sexuality, marriage, and family in our culture is overthrown,” he says. “They intend to put ExxonMobil into an economic hammerlock until the company surrenders.”
Texas-based ExxonMobil has more than 120,000 employees around the world. Some countries in which ExxonMobil operates, such as The Netherlands and Canada, legally recognize same-sex relationships. According to a company statement, ExxonMobil provides spousal benefits in such locations, regardless if the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual. The statement also says the company's decision on domestic partner benefits is “simply a business decision” not a statement on social policy.
(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)