The nation’s largest oil company has issued guidance that bans flying flags like the LGBT and Black Lives Matter banners outside buildings, prompting backlash from employee groups.
Bloomberg reported that the guidance prohibited “external position flags” outside company facilities.
The Houston chapter of ExxonMobil’s internal PRIDE organization responded by refusing to represent the company in the June 2022 Houston Pride Parade.
“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,” the group said, according to Bloomberg.
Although the move reportedly stems from an objection to the flags being flown on company grounds on the part of corporate executives last year, it is being reported in the context of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ political feud with Disney over political differences between his state Republican lawmakers’ agenda and the company’s politics.
Last month, DeSantis signed into legislation the controversial Parental Rights in Education Act, which restricts sexuality education in Florida schools.
Disney publicly condemned the legislation and vowed to fight it and last week, DeSantis signed into law a bill that stripped the entertainment giant of its special self-governing status in the state.
The move has been viewed by critics as a political attack.
Forbes also noted that the United States Department of Defense also has a ban on flags like the LGBT and confederate flags, a policy which was implemented by the Trump administration but has yet to be rescinded since President Joe Biden took office.
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