One of Gaywheels’ most popular features is its list of gay-friendly automakers (and its shrinking list of not-so-gay-friendly brands). These lists keep politically minded LGBT shoppers informed about who’s doing what for our community.
The Human Rights Campaign keeps a much bigger list — one that explores thousands of companies across dozens of industry sectors. HRC just published its Equality Index for 2011, and we’re happy to see that Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors each earned perfect scores of 100. Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen also aced the test (even though VW’s bitter child, Porsche, remains on our non-gay-friendly list).
In fact, the only auto brand on the Equality Index that earned less than 100 points was Nissan, which, according to HRC’s grading system, doesn’t have a personnel policy forbidding discrimination based on gender identity or expression; doesn’t offer a full range of benefits for partners; doesn’t have an employee resource group; and doesn’t “positively engage the external LGBT community”. On the upside, Nissan’s 60 point score is up 10 from last year.
There are, however, a number of companies missing from the Index altogether — Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few. We’d love to give them the benefit of the doubt (well, except Hyundai and Kia), but we’re guessing that they didn’t have the time or interest to return the HRC survey. And without that data, who can say?
You can view and/or download your own copy of the Equality Index at http://www.hrc.org/cei2011. The auto industry section begins on page 67, with explanations on page 65. If you want to keep your day bright and happy, I’d avoid looking too closely at the scores for parts companies and dealerships like Penske. There, we’ve still got a long row to hoe.