For the 15th consecutive
year, Exxon Mobil shareholders on Wednesday rejected a proposal which
sought to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity as part of the company's equal employment opportunity (EEO)
Support for the change decreased
slightly over last year, down .3 percent to 19.5 percent.
The measure, backed by New York
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, fared better in 2012, receiving support
from 20.6 percent of shareholders.
In a statement to shareholders, Exxon
Mobil's board of directors advised against the change, calling it
“The Board has reviewed in detail
ExxonMobil's existing global policies that prohibit all forms of
discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation and
gender identity, in any company workplace, anywhere in the world. In
fact, ExxonMobil's policies go beyond the law and prohibit any form
of discrimination. Based on these existing all-inclusive,
zero-tolerance policies, the Board believes the proposal is
unnecessary,” the statement read.
Fred Sainz, vice president of
communications at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said that without
anti-discrimination policies, it would be reasonable to question the
oil giant's commitment to equality.
“If ExxonMobil is as committed to
zero-tolerance as they claim, there's simply no reason to [not] have
fully-inclusive policies,” Sainz told gay weekly the Washington
Blade. “Until then, their commitment to equality will
rightly be questioned.”
Last year, Exxon
Mobil extended benefits to the spouses of gay employees.