21 May 2021 Companies Virtue Signal Without Consequences: HRC’s Equality Act Fraud
Another shareholder meeting, another game of corporate dodgeball.
The Free Enterprise Project (FEP) attended Macy’s 2021 virtual meeting of stockholders today to question CEO Jeffrey Gennette about his support for the religiously bigoted Equality Act.
FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., submitted the following question:
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Macy’s supports the Equality Act. First, is that true? And second, in light of criticism from scholars and legal experts that the law would eviscerate female sports and cancel federal religious freedom protections, does the company support the entire Equality Act or just portions of it? If you could elaborate with specifics, that would be great.
As we’ve seen so many times this season, Macy’s performed the masterpiece of shareholder-meeting gymnastics: the corporate swerve. Because the specific question we asked would have been difficult to answer and would have required specifics from Gennette, the meeting secretary reworded it, presenting Gennette with a softball version:
With the Equality Act in the news, what is Macy’s support of LGBTQ rights in the country?
This revision drained the entire meaning from our question. These woke CEOs brag about their continued push for “human rights” at every turn. But here, as usual, Gennette was unwilling to unpack that communications-department virtue signaling in any meaningful way.
CEO Jeffrey Gennette responded to the phony, reworded question with:
So a thing I’m proud of is that if you look at the HRC and our score, we’re at 100%, and has been for a number of years. So this is a topic that we lead, and when you look, it’s a piece of pride for the company. On this score, we’re very strong.
This answer unwittingly reveals the whole con at the heart of unexamined corporate support for positions pushed by left-wing activist groups. The Human Rights Campaign, the HRC that Gennette refers to, sponsors a “Corporate Equality Index,” ranking corporations by the amount to which they bend to the campaign’s demands.
HRC describes itself as the world’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group. This could be true, but it may also be the nation’s leading opponent of religious liberty. HRC is active in many legal cases that seek to demonize and marginalize Americans of faith.
Business executives love ratings. Ratings provide corporations with great PR, and corporate managers can brag about them as we saw in the meeting today. But these executives are unwilling to publicly acknowledge all that these ratings imply, as Macy’s manipulations proved.
This doesn’t stop HRC though. Instead, as the next step of the swindle, HRC takes support by Macy’s and other companies for relatively anodyne causes, like nondiscrimination, and turns it into support for the most appalling of its causes, like the repeal of religious liberties and the destruction of girls’ and women’s sports. It cites Macy’s support for specific provisions that Macy’s refuses to support publicly as a reason why other corporations must pretend to support those positions as well, and why legislators must adopt them.
Where are all the collusion mongers from the last four years? Why aren’t they howling at the moon in fury at this manipulative, mendacious bait-and-switch?
Oh, wait. That’s right.