Gay Group Joins Fight Against Wal-Mart

From The New York Times:


March 2, 2011

As Wal-Mart strives to open its first store in New York City, it has attracted a long list of opponents, from elected officials to labor leaders to small business people.

On Wednesday, another group took up the cause: a prominent gay rights group.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a gay advocacy group based in Washington, said Wal-Mart had a poor record when it came to gay employees.

“With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies,” the task force said in a statement, “that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their L.G.B.T. employees.”

The task force criticized Wal-Mart for denying employee benefits to same-sex partners and for failing to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. By comparison, the group said two other chain stores with a strong presence in New York, Costco and Walgreens, did much better.

“It may be a local debate for New York City, but Wal-Mart is a largest private employer in country,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the task force. “To have Wal-Mart as a substantial employer there, and an employer that lacks these basic protections, then a lot of people who need work, who seek work, simply won’t feel comfortable.”

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