Exxon: Corporate Hater?

15 March 2010

Dear Mr. Tillerson:

I hope this message finds you well.

I am sure that you receive many letters from angry environmentalists, angry customers, angry activists of all types. I am writing to you today not because I am angry, but because I am confused.

My family has long been a “Mobil family,” in fact, I’ve been Mobil customer for four decades. My dad, a semi-professional automobile racer, proudly displayed the Mobil logo on his car. My grandfather swore by Standard Oil. There is a Mobil on the corner of my street, and it has, for a long time, been my gas station of choice. I am proud to support my local franchise owner, and her employees. I have had both a Speedpass and a ExxonMobil MasterCard for many years and I gladly suggest Mobil to my friends, colleagues, students, and co-workers.

I write today with a request: Would you explain to me the policy of ExxonMobil with regard to its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees? My understanding is that your policy enshrines discrimination against this group of people. While I understand that the leaders of large corporations often have to make unpopular choices for the good of the company and its shareholders, I cannot understand your seemingly discriminatory policy. Your policy toward GLBT people, Mr. Tillerson, simply does not make sense. By offending and in effect shutting out gay and lesbian consumers, it alienates the largest market of discretionary spenders in the world. Personally, I find your policy not only absurd—a bullying bout of Texas bravado—but offensive.

I am willing to hear the reasons for your choice, Mr. Tillerson, and I look forward to your expedient reply to my request. I ask that your letter of reply actually be from you, not an assistant or a corporate communications person, as I would truly like to know your thoughts on this matter and your reasons for this decision. I know you will understand, Mr. Tillerson, that until I receive your reply, I cannot in good conscience continue to patronize any ExxonMobil outlets. With this letter, I have put my Speedpass and ExxonMobil MasterCard on hiatus until I receive your reply. Your reply will determine whether or not I continue to be a proud ExxonMobil customer for the next four decades, or whether your reply will clarify what can seemingly be construed as a choice of intolerance and hatred.

I have posted this letter (as I will with your response) on my blog, and will share it with my friends, colleagues, students, and co-workers.

I look forward to your reply, Mr. Tillerson, thank you for your time and attention to this letter.


More info at: HRC | Corporate Equality Index.

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