JANUARY 28, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE
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crimination policy, and for dropping
domestic partner benefits Mobil once
offered to its employees.
Cirigliano said Exxon Mobil doesn't
want to limit its policies to specific groups
and doesn't offer domestic partner benefits
because they aren't required by federal law.
As organizers of Equality Rally spread the
word about today's protest, they encouraged
people taking part to bring their Exxon Mobil
credit cards, destroy them, and let the company know it lost their business.
The rally was also scheduled to provide a
way for protesters to apply for credit cards
from more gay-friendly gas and oil companies.
But with gas stations on almost every corner, gay and lesbian consumers face a variety
Some of those stations bear logos of companies that don't protect gay and lesbian
employees or recognize the buying of gay
consumers. To help consumers, the Houston
Voice surveyed major oil and gas companies to
see where each one stands when it comes to
gay men and lesbians.
The gay friendliness of companies can be
gauged by looking at five criteria, according to Kim Mills, education director of the
Human Rights Campaign, the nation's
largest gay civil rights group.
Mills said companies should have a nondiscrimination statement that specifically
includes sexual orientation, offer insurance
and other benefits to same-sex partners of
employees, include sexual orientation in diversity training, contribute to gay and AIDS related charities, and have a gay employee group.
Offering the benefits is the most dramatic
step a company can take to show that it
understands gay and lesbian issues, Mills
said. It is not unusual to see several companies
in an industry begin offering domestic partner
benefits as soon as one steps out, she said.
San Francisco-based Chevron Corp. was
the first oil company to offer both a non-dis
crimination policy that includes sexual orientation and domestic partner benefits. The policy became effective in 1993. The benefits,
available to same-sex and opposite-sex partners, were made available in 1997.
Chevron is the nation's No. 3 integrated oil
company, behind Exxon Mobil and Texaco.
Chevron operates 8,000 gas stations and
employees about 40,000 people.
Susan Guerrero, co-chairwoman of the
company's gay and lesbian employee group,
said she considers the company gay friendly,
although the atmosphere for gay employees
varies by department.
"Within Chevron, the overall company has
very open and accepting policies, but that filters down to individual attitudes," she said.
Like in many industries, the manufactunng
plants at Chevron are generally less gay
friendly than the offices. Guerrero said.
The company's charitable donations to gay
causes are mostly in the San Francisco Bay
area, where the company is headquartered.
Guerrero, who is based in Houston, said she is
somewhat disappointed by the lack of donations by Chevron here.
Houston-based Shell Oil Co., now part of
Royal Dutch/Shell Group, has had a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation since 1996. The company began offering
same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partner
benefits in 1998.
Diversity training at the company is still
somewhat spotty, but sexual orientation is
included when the training is offered, according to Rick Schroder, a diversity consultant for
the company and one of the co-founders of
Shell's gay and lesbian employee group.
Shell's contributions have helped hind the
Lesbian Health Initiative, PFLAG's national
organization, the Greater Houston Gay and
Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and other gay
and lesbian causes.
The company has participated in Houston's
AIDS walk and has sponsored gay pride
events in Atlanta. Shell also received a corporate citizen award from HRC in 1998 and has
sponsored national events for the organization.
"The attitude is one of inclusion," Schroder
said. "Shell's policy is to value all people.
We're making progress in that area."
A third company that has led the way on
gay and lesbian issues is in transition, but its
progressive policies appear certain to stay in
place. The 1999 merger of British Petroleum
and Amoco created BP Amoco, a London-
based company that is among the top integrated oil companies in the world.
The company, which owns more than
28,000 service stations worldwide, is also
looking to buy Atlantic Richfield Co.
The former Amoco's policies provided for a
non-discrimination statement that included
sexual orientation and for same-sex and opposite sex domestic partner benefits. The merged
company plans to continue those policies,
according to company spokesperson Hugh
Diversity training that includes gay and lesbian issues is also likely to continue, DePland
said. He said he did not know what plans the
company has regarding charitable donations.
Wriile not leaders in their industry, Texaco and
Sunoco have some progressive policies in place.
Texaco, based in White Plains, New York, is
the nation's No. 2 integrated oil company and
sells fuel at 38,000 gas stations worldwide. Its
25,000 employees are protected by a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, but domestic partner benefits are not
offered, according to spokeswoman Kelly
The 11,000-employee Sunoco operates
about 3,700 gas stations in 17 states, mostly in
the Northeast, under the Ultra Service Centers
and Aplus names. Sunoco is not a full-service
oil company like Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell,
BP Amoco and Texaco. Instead, the
Philadelphia-based company is the nation's
No. 3 refiner and marketer of oil products.
The company does not offer domestic partner benefits, according to spokeswoman
Shannon Breuer, but its non-discrimination
policy and diversity training include sexual
Tosco Corp., based in Stamford, Conn., is
the only company contacted that refused to
answer specific questions.
The company, the leader in the oil refining
and marketing industry and No. 2 in con-
Gay organizers of a rally against Exxon Mobil,
including Dan DiDonato, were scheduled to
meet with company executives early today to
discuss its employment policies.
venience stores (behind 7-Eleven), owns
Circle K. It operates 2,400 gas stations and
convenience stores and another 2,600 under
license from BP, 76 and Exxon, providing a
presence in 36 states.
Two other companies answered "no" to all
live benchmark questions:
CITGO Petroleum Corp., which employees
5,000 people, does not operate any of the stations that bear its name. All 15,000 of its outlets are independently-owned franchises.
Some 1,900 of those are 7-Eleven stores.
Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp,
based in San Antonio, is No. 2 in the oil
refining and marketing business and operates 5,300 gas stations and convenience
stores in under the Diamond Shamrock,
Total, Ultramar and Beacon brand names. It
employs 24,000 people.
Spokesman Jodie Carlson said the company complies with all laws regarding non-discrimination, noting that sexual orientation is
not a class protected by federal law.
oil & gas
Does your nondiscrimination
Do you offer
Does your diversity
Do you make
donations to gay or
Do you have a gay
200 E. Randolph Dr., Chicago, IL 60601
312-856-6111 * www.bpamoco.com
575 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105
415-894-7700 • www.chevron.com
1 Warren Place, 6100 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136
918-495-4000 • www.citgo.com
5959 Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX 75039
" 972-444-1000 • www.exxon.mobil.com
One Shell Plaza, Houston.TX 77002
713-241-6161 • www.shell.com
10 Penn Center, 1801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-977-3000 • www.sunocoinc.com
2000 Westchester Ave., White Plains, NY 10650
914-253-4000 • www.texaco.com
72 Cummings Point Rd., Stamford, CT 06902
203-977-1000 • www.tosco.com
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6000 N. Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX 78249
210-592-2000 • www.udscorp.com
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