By Anagha Srikanth, June 4, 2021, The Hill

Companies are talking the talk, but are they walking the walk?

In recent years, the rainbow pride flag has become ubiquitous with the month of June, popping up on logos, merchandise and mastheads across corporate America. Still, LGBTQ+ Americans continue to be the target of discrimination and hate crimes perpetrated against its most vulnerable members, including transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. 

This year, a new campaign is getting to the heart of the dissonance between what people and businesses say and what they do. “Keep your pride,” the Corporate Accountability Action campaign, run by the global charity, tells companies like Anheuser-Busch, NBC, GM, AT&T and Coke, whose logos are plastered on its front page with the allegation that these companies contributed $324,250 to anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers.

“And they call themselves allies?” the campaign asks in a video. 

The call for accountability comes as state governments across the country are restricting the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth in education and health care, among other things, and anti-transgender hate crimes are on the rise. In fact, this year is on track to be the deadliest in recorded history for transgender Americans as nearly twice as many have been killed so far this year compared to 2020.

At the same time, organizations are contributing to campaigns against the Equality Act, which would protect the LGBTQ+ community and others against various forms of discrimination. One, the National Christian Charitable Foundation, is reportedly funded by major companies including Chick-fil-A, which told Bisnow last year that it would stop donating to charities with anti-LGBTQ+ views.  

Unlike Chick-fil-A’s leadership, which has admitted to being against LGBTQ+ rights, however, the companies named by the Keep Your Pride campaign have advertised their diversity and inclusion initiatives and promoted their brand using Pride Month messaging. Changing America has reached out to these companies for comment. 

“We have long supported the LGBTQ community through our actions inside our company and throughout society.  That support has not wavered,” said the Coca-Cola Company in a statement, noting that the contributions were made before the 2021 legislative sessions. In 2020, the company updated their political contributions criteria to specify “equality and inclusion” in evaluation of candidates. The company has paused political donations since January. 

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