The days of organizations viewing gay workplace discrimination ratings as an invasion of privacy are over. Companies these days are more likely to think of a high mark as an honor and make some noise. Proof of that fact can be found in their press releases.

This week the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights organization, published its 2009 corporate gay discrimination report, titled Corporate Equality Index. The scorecard of sorts rates companies on several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workplace policies and assigns each a rating from 0- to100- percent. This year, corporations achieving a perfect score soared by 30%. A record 259 (44%) of companies received a score of 100%.

“The 2009 Corporate Equality Index shows that corporate America understands that a diverse workforce is critical to remaining successful and competitive,” said HRC Foundation President Joe Solmonese in a statement. “In the absence of a federal law that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, it is up to employers to take the lead and implement policies that ensure all their employees are protected.”

Companies are achieving higher scores because the index is clearly no longer dismissed as just gay activism. In fact, most now view the index as an achievement. Those with perfect scores, crow a bit in a press release.

Releases were distributed by several prominent companies this year, including Motorola, Subaru of America, ING, Aon, United Business Media LLC, Raytheon, Shell Oil and ChoicePoint.

ChoicePoint, a software company located in Alpharetta, Georgia, received their sixth consecutive perfect score and is the only Georgia based company to do so – a detail found in their September 2nd press release.

“At ChoicePoint, what makes us different makes us strong. This belief is a reflection of the company culture and personality,” said Derek V. Smith, ChoicePoint chairman and CEO, in his company's release. “We thank the Human Rights Campaign again for this important recognition through the Corporate Equality Index.”

Shell Oil Company president Marvin Odum said the recognition was “a priority for us because it further demonstrates our commitment to inclusiveness in the workplace,” in a press release.

Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola was also recognized for a sixth consecutive year. “Motorola is honored to be recognized for the sixth consecutive year by the Human Rights Campaign as a company that promotes and supports initiatives for our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees,” said Jeanette Kilo-Smith, vice president of Global Inclusion and Diversity for Motorola.

The index also reported huge gains for transgender employees, saying that gender protections have increased twelve fold since 2002. A majority (66%) of indexed companies prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

Fortune 500 companies also rated highly with an average score of 83%.