Congrats to those Companies who Embrace LGBT Consumers & Employees

October 10, 2013

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA

ANA’s Multicultural Excellence Awards once again has a LGBT category and, this year, that category received more entries than ever before.  That’s great news and is an indicator that more companies recognize the business opportunities of LGBTs, and equally importantly, are not backing down from any potential backlash from those with less vision.  The winners of the 2013 Multicultural Excellence Awards for the LGBT category are:

  • Allstate Insurance Company, Leo Burnett
  • American Express Company, Grand Central Marketing
  • General Mills’ Lucky Charms, McCann New York

The 2013 grand prize will be announced at a ceremony during ANA’s 15th Annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, taking place November 3-5 in Los Angeles.

This year saw some important, positive developments for LGBTs:

  • The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down by the Supreme Court. Enacted in 1996, that allowed states to refuse to recognize same sex marriages granted under laws of other states, effectively barring same-sex married couples from being recognized as "spouses" and denying federal benefits to gay couples who legally married in their states, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave. 
  • NBA player Jason Collins announced that he’s gay, becoming the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.

But for every positive step forward, there is often a step or two backwards.

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin recently signed a law allowing police to arrest tourists and foreign nationalists suspected of being homosexual or pro-gay.  Russia, by the way, will soon be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic games.  The law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, family member, or fan who is suspected of being gay, or pro-gay, can go to jail.
  • Just even more recently, the governor of Pennsylvania compared gay marriage to incest.

ANA is proud to have enlightened members such as Allstate, American Express Company, and General Mills and encourage others to become more active with LGBT customers and employees.

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