In a bold move, Exxon updated its guidance on what acceptable flags can be displayed outside of its offices. It banned an external position flag which included pride flags and Black Lives Matter flags. This especially hurt the feelings of employees who were members of the Exxon Houston PRIDE group. Exxon’s PRIDE Houston chapter was unhappy with this decision and are now refusing to represent the company at Houston’s PRIDE celebration on June 25th of 2022. Flags representing different employee resource groups at the company are allowed to be displayed. Allowing employees to have flags for their resource groups, however, isn’t enough for the LGBTQ community.
“It is difficult to reconcile how ExxonMobil recognizes the value of promoting our corporation as supportive of the LGBTQ+ community externally (e.g., advertisements, Pride parades, social media posts) but now believes it inappropriate to visibly show support for our LGBTQ+ employees at the workplace,” the workers’ group said in the email to Bloomberg News
Exxon tried to explain to the group that they were trying to have corporate neutrality. This is in the middle of a large culture war currently going on in the United States. Recently Disney company decided to publicly oppose legislation that would support parental rights in Florida. Additionally, internal dialogue in the Disney company showed that the company was pushing a sexual agenda on children. This resulted in Disney losing extreme value on the stock market. Exxon did come out with a statement to explain themselves to the public.
“The updated flag protocol is intended to clarify the use of the ExxonMobil branded company flag and not intended to diminish our commitment to diversity and support for employee resource groups,” Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vice president of human resources, said in a statement. “We’re committed to keeping an open, honest, and inclusive workplace for all of our employees, and we’re saddened that any employee would think otherwise.” “Diversity is not a stand-alone activity; it is embedded in our core values, our approach to how we develop talent, and the culture to which we aspire,” Gunnlaugsson said.
What no one seems to be able to answer is why flags are necessary to validate a personal choice. We don’t have flags for single mothers, we don’t have a flag for people who believe body modification is the way forward, we don’t have flags for stay-at-home mothers, heterosexual couples do not have a flag and demand that it be placed up on corporate headquarters, and we don’t have flags for incels. However, for some reason the LGBTQ community has decided that the flag that they have is more important than the freedom they’ve gained in the past 20 years.
Let’s not forget that the LGBTQ community were not allowed to marry before the turn of this century and could be fired from their job for what they did in their bedroom. That means fired from any job, not just a job that is associated with a religion. Perhaps the LGBTQ community should be thankful for the support that they have received thus far in having the same rights as everyone else and stop demanding extra special treatment that everyone else doesn’t get in the workplace. Moving forward it would be nice to see corporations start to treat everyone the same again. Isn’t that what the LGBTQ community said they wanted in the first place, just to be treated like everyone else.
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