LGBTQ Corner

Denny Patterson, Senior Editor

Exxon Mobil to offer spousal benefits to gay employees
Last week, Exxon Mobil, an oil-and-gas giant who has faced criticism over anti-LGBT policies, announced that they would begin to offer employees in same-sex marriages health and pension benefits.

Reported by the “Washington Blade,” Mobil spokesperson Alan Jeffers said in a statement that the company had decided to institute the benefits in the wake of the Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act to achieve consistency with the federal government.

Exxon Mobile is widely known for its anti-LGBT policies including no non-discrimination protections for workers based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index has rated Exxon Mobile a -25, the lowest of any company.

This move is being expressed as a step toward equality, but many are disappointed that there is still no federal law protecting LGBT employees from discrimination. This year is the sixteenth time shareholders rejected a resolution that would have expanded the company’s equal employment opportunity policy to add LGBT workers to non-discrimination protections.

Russia to debate over removing children from homosexual parents
The Russian bill to remove children from the custody of gay parents will be scheduled to for a vote. This bill would classify homosexuality equivalent to alcoholism, abuse and violence – top reasons to remove a child from a parent’s custody. The law will be under consideration this upcoming February and it could be possible that the debate will coincide with the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games which will be held Feb. 7-23.

Alexei Zhuravlyov, the deputy of the Russian State Duma, introduced the bill after he saw a gay man in his hometown receive custody of his children after he came out. He claims that gay parents are exposing their children to LGBT propaganda.

Chicago adoption agency honored Children’s Home + Aid, the Chicago based adoption agency, has earned the All Children – All Families seal of recognition.
The agency earned the honor by meeting all required criteria for fully inclusive policies and working with the LGBT community. This award provides a comprehensive framework for agencies that support and affirm LGBT adoptive and foster parents.

The All Children – All Families initiative began in 2007. Goals of the program include seeking out and enhancing LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate the LGBT community about becoming adoptive or foster parents.