Exxon Mobil Bans LGBTQ Flags From Company Flagpoles During Pride

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday April 26, 2022

There will be corporate display of pride at Exxon Mobil Corp. this years. In a statement, the company prohibited the use of the LGBTQ-rights flag from being flown on its corporate flagpole outside its offices during Pride month, Bloomberg reported.

The company has officially banned any "external position flags" such as PRIDE and Black Lives Matter, according to its policy.

The decision has reportedly prompted a furious backlash from the company's Houston-based employees, with the company's PRIDE Houston employee group explaining in an email that "PRIDE was informed the justification was centered on the need for the corporation to maintain 'neutrality.'"

In response, members of the Exxon employee group are reportedly refusing to represent the company at Pride celebrations in June.

"The updated flag protocol is intended to clarify the use of the ExxonMobil branded company flag and not intended to diminish our commitment to diversity and support for employee resource groups," said Exxon vice president of human resources Tracey Gunnlaugsson in a statement. "We're committed to keeping an open, honest, and inclusive workplace for all of our employees, and we're saddened that any employee would think otherwise."

In light of increasing scrutiny over LGBTQ representation and acceptance in media and school systems, the employee resource group said the company should be taking a stronger position.

"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 workers' group said in the email.

The group added, "Flying a Pride flag is one small way many corporations choose to visibly show their care, inclusion and support for LGBTQ+ employees." They explained, "These types of visible actions are even more impactful for many of our LGBTQ+ colleagues who aren't out at work and may not feel comfortable participating in PRIDE events."