DeSantis Effect? Exxon Bans LGBTQ Flag From Being Displayed During Pride Month

Image by heygluc from Pixabay

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature on legislation dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney’s special self-governance and taxation privileges granted by the state in 1967, sent the very clear message that powerful corporations will pay a price for trying to force their woke agendas upon local governments.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Exxon Mobil Corp. has updated their policy on flags that may be flown outside their offices. The new guidance, obtained by Bloomberg, specifically prohibits the display of “external position flags,” which includes both the LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter flags.

Previously, the company has allowed the LGBTQ flag to be flown during June which is “Pride Month.”

The company will, however, allow “a flag representing an LGBTQ employees’ group that does not prominently feature Exxon’s corporate logo.”

This policy change has triggered Exxon’s “PRIDE Houston Chapter.” According to an email reviewed by Bloomberg, this group has announced they will no longer “represent the company at the city’s June 25 Pride celebration.”

On Thursday, the group wrote: “Corporate leadership took exception to a rainbow flag being flown at our facilities [last June]. … PRIDE was informed the justification was centered on the need for the corporation to maintain ‘neutrality.’

“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.

“Flying a Pride flag is one small way many corporations choose to visibly show their care, inclusion and support for LGBTQ+ employees,” the group argued. These types of visible actions are even more impactful for many of our LGBTQ+ colleagues who aren’t out at work and may not feel comfortable participating in PRIDE events.”

ExxonMobil Vice President of Human Resources Tracey Gunnlaugsson responded to the email in a statement which read: “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. 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,” she added.

Could it be that DeSantis’ decision to fight back against Disney’s foray into activism has sent a chill throughout corporate America, particularly among companies located in red states. It may be too early to tell, but Exxon’s decision to ban the display of LGBTQ pride and BLM flags outside their corporate offices was certainly encouraging.

There’s no denying that Disney’s activism has hurt shareholder value. It’s stock price closed at $118.27 per share on Friday, a 52-week low.

Shareholders certainly can’t be happy that the company whose mission is to provide family-friendly entertainment for children, has shed nearly $50 billion in market capitalization since Disney’s management commenced their attack on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education legislation.

The Washington Examiner reported: “The stock’s market cap has declined by about $46.6 billion since March 1, just days before the company came out against the legislation.”

Moreover, a Trafalgar poll released earlier this month found that “68 percent of Americans, including nearly half of all Democrats, are ‘less likely to do business with Disney’ following revelations about the company’s sexual politics.”

Considering that a company’s first priority should be to maximize shareholder value, Disney’s needless stand against Florida’s anti-grooming legislation was a pretty stupid move.

Has Ron DeSantis’ opening salvo in the war against wokism sent a shiver throughout corporate America?

ExxonMobil’s refusal to fly LGBT and BLM signs outside their offices may be a sign that it has.



A previous version of this article was published on The Western Journal.
Follow AFNN:
CloutHub: @AFNN_USA
Please follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter 

Leave a Comment