Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Taking Initiative

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Taking Initiative

Article excerpt

If you own stock, you have an important vote. That's the message the Equality Project, a New York City-based group, is trying to get out in its effort to secure protections for gay and lesbian employees at many of the nation's top companies.

The group, which includes investors, lawyers, and financial professionals, lobbies companies through letters and at shareholder meetings, but its most important tool is the shareholder resolution. Anyone who has owned $2,000 or more worth of company stock for at least a year qualifies to put a resolution up for vote at an annual shareholder meeting, says Diane Bratcher, president of the Equality Project.

With that in mind, her group organizes large shareholders of public companies to sponsor resolutions asking management to include sexual orientation in corporate nondiscrimination policies. Most recently, the Equality Project convinced the boards of directors at American International Group Inc. and Home Depot Inc. to do just that. …

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