LGBT rainbow flag
However, LGBT advocates insist that companies that don't offer at least a non-discrimination policy are shooting themselves in the foot. Since discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is perfectly legal in 29 states, LGBT workers often look for companies with policies that explicitly prohibit such discrimination. Without that protection, advocates argue, LGBT employees will often choose to work someplace else.
Both sides use data to support their points, but the LGBT advocates are clearly winning the argument: 99% of the 1,117 companies rated in the HRC's 2012 Corporate Equality Index have non-discrimination policies in place. Those policies may not be the sole reason that these companies are the biggest in the U.S. -- but then again, they probably didn't hurt, either.
In the highly competitive automotive industry, having a talented workforce is key to success, and employers have come to realize that diversity is means of attracting talent. In this case, it's not about creating quotas, it's simply about making workers feel comfortable, appreciated, and happy -- because as we've seen time and again, happy workers are productive workers. Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Subaru, and GM seem to understand that. We'll see how they stack up against the competition down the line.
To download the HRC's 2012 Corporate Equality Index as a PDF or review it online, click here.
* UPDATE, courtesy of Joe LaMuraglia, General Motors' LGBT Liaison for Communications: "GM absolutely offers health and medical insurance for same-sex domestic partners and was among the first automakers to do so in 2000. We did drop from 100 to 85 this year on the HRC CEI, and it seems the reason is that HRC may have changed their criteria for a perfect score. GM currently does not offer health and medical insurance for dependents of same-sex partners who are not tax-dependent. So, for example, if you had a child from a previous marriage and your ex has listed that child as a dependent on their taxes, then they are not currently eligible for health and medical insurance coverage under the current program. GM is currently reviewing this policy, and while it has not been changed as of today, it is under consideration."