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Human Rights Campaign releases free ‘Buying for Equality’ gay iPhone application

buyersguideHuman Rights Campaign has just released a free iPhone app that makes it easy to navigate the organization’s annual Buying for Equality guide. You can find out while shopping or eating out which companies rank high on HRC’s gay-friendly list – and which rank low. The app can be downloaded at Apple’s iTunes store. (Apple, by the way, gets a perfect 100 ranking by HRC.)

Here’s the HRC news release:

“Supporting Businesses That Support Us” Campaign Goes High-Tech this New Year; Equips Pro-Equality Shoppers with Rankings at their Fingertips

WASHINGTON – Continuing the effort launched at the beginning of the busy holiday shopping season, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a first of its kind, free iPhone application for its “Buying for Equality” guide.  This new technology will allow shoppers to access the Buying for Equality guide as they enter a store to see how hundreds of popular American brands are rated based on the businesses’ treatment of their LGBT employees.  The iPhone application is available for download at www.hrc.org/iPhone.  Both Apple, and the iPhone’s exclusive service provider, AT&T, score 100% on the 2010 Corporate Equality Index.

The Buying for Equality iPhone application puts information directly in the hands of consumers in an easy to read format that divides businesses and their consumer products into red (brands to avoid), yellow (brands that have made some progress) and green (brands to support) categories to help consumers support businesses that support LGBT equality.  These color-coded rankings are based on a company’s score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index (www.hrc.org/CEI), a nationally recognized benchmark that scores major American corporations based on their workplace policies and commitment to fairness for their LGBT employees.   

“As pro-equality consumers enter the stores in 2010, the new Buying for Equality iPhone application is a revolutionary tool that will help inform purchases and support those businesses who believe in our equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “With this application, critical information about workplace equality is now at the fingertips of thousands of LGBT and allied supporters who have hundreds of billions of dollars in buying power.  This is another way that we are enabling our community to come together to support those that support us in this new year ahead.”

HRC Buying for Equality guide iPhone application features:

•           The iPhone application is available for download at www.hrc.org/iPhone

•           Find thousands of LGBT-friendly businesses and their products, search by shopping category or browse alphabetically.

•           Browse distinct shopping categories like Food, Apparel, Household Products and Finance.

•           View detailed information about each rating of LGBT-inclusive workplace policies from the HRC Corporate Equality Index.

•           E-mail information about your favorite brands to your friends and family.

The Buying for Equality guide is also available on any mobile device via text messaging.  Text "SHOP" and a business or brand name to 30644 - we'll text you back with their rating.

The LGBT community is estimated to have $712 billion in buying power this year, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communications and Marketresearch.com. A recent study by Witeck-Combs/Harris Interactive also found that 78 percent of LGBT people are extremely or very likely to consider brands that are known to provide equal workplace benefits for their employees, including LGBT workers.

Additional background information on “Buying for Equality 2010”:

Buying for Equality is an annual publication of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that directs consumers to support fair-minded businesses through their purchasing decisions. The guide draws comparisons between products, services and retail outlets that consumers use on a daily basis. The ratings are based upon the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index which, this year, rated a record 305 at 100 percent. The CEI is the foremost method for businesses to evaluate their diversity and inclusion efforts toward recruiting and retaining LGBT employees, customers and investors.  To learn more about the HRC Buying for Equality guide visit: www.hrc.org/BuyersGuide.

Categories: “Buying for Equality” breaks companies and their products into everyday purchasing categories, including:

•           Apparel & Accessories

•           Banking & Finance

•           Eating Out

•           Food & Beverage

•           Home & Garden

•           Technology

Ratings: Businesses and their products are divided based on their CEI rating into red, yellow and green sections so that consumers can easily determine which brands support LGBT equality: 

•           Green (80-100): Consumers should make every effort to support these businesses.

•           Yellow (46-79): Businesses/brands that have taken steps toward a fair-minded workplace, but there is still progress to be made.

•           Red (0-45): Businesses/brands that have more work to do in furthering equality. If possible, make the choice to support a fairer company.

•           Red (?): Businesses/brands that have not responded to the survey despite repeated attempts and whose policies remain unclear.

HRC looks forward to building relationships with businesses that have not responded to attempts to gather information on LGBT workplace policies and programs, and are hopeful to evaluate and report information in the future.

Featured Businesses and Their CEI Ratings:

•           General Mills (100%) vs. Kellogg’s (65%)

•           Visa, MasterCard, American Express (100%) vs. Discover Card (58%)

•           Orbitz (100%) vs. Expedia (65%)

•           Dell (100%) vs. Acer/Gateway (50%)

•           Best Buy (100%) vs. Radio Shack (40%)

•           Staples (93%) & OfficeMax (90%) vs. Office Depot (45%)

•           Mattel (95%) vs. Hasbro (50%)

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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