Garden State Equality withdraws honors from AT&T, KPMG and Phizer

Garden State Equality has voted to withdraw its honors of three national corporations, AT&T, KPMG and Pfizer, that serve on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry after the Chamber lobbied in favor of the "Special Access to Discriminate" bill.

The bill has passed both houses of the Tennessee state legislature and is now before Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Garden State Equality's executive committee voted unanimously to not to honor AT&T, KPMG and Pfizer, previously slated to be among the honorees at Garden State Equality’s annual Legends Dinner on Saturday, June 25.

Legends, at which Garden State Equality honors corporations, legislators and individual activists for their contributions to LGBT equality.

"We thank Garden State Equality for standing by us in Tennessee and showing true national leadership,” said Chris Sanders, Nashville Committee Chair of the Tennessee Equality Project.  “We hope organizations across America will follow Garden State Equality's lead with regard to companies on the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry."

"AT&T, KPMG and Pfizer don’t have to remind us that their internal workplace policies are outstanding or that they have received several awards for corporate equality and diversity. That’s why we had voted to honor them,” said Steven Goldstein, Chair of Garden State Equality. “And their LGBT employee groups are fantastic. But notwithstanding a company's internal policies, no company on a Board of Directors fighting against LGBT civil rights merits honors from Garden State Equality or any other pro-equality organization."

"Let our message resound everywhere,” Goldstein said. “You cannot separate workplace policies from greater social responsibility, for laws that cover workplace discrimination directly affect treatment in the company workplace. You cannot boast about being a great company for LGBT equality on 29 days a month, but then work against LGBT equality on the 30th day and expect our appreciation.Equality is an everyday value."

With 82,000 members, Garden State Equality is New Jersey's largest civil rights organization. Since Garden State Equality's founding in 2004, New Jersey has enacted 212 LGBT civil rights laws at the state, county and local levels, a national record.


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