Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to prohibit the LGBT Rainbow Pride and rights flag from being flown outside its offices during Pride month in June prompting an immediate backlash.
Exxon updated company guidance on what flags can be displayed outside its offices, banning “external position flags” such as PRIDE and Black Lives Matter, according to the policy seen by Bloomberg News. In response, members of Exxon’s PRIDE Houston Chapter are refusing to represent the company at the city’s June 25 Pride celebration, according to an employee group email.
“Corporate leadership took exception to a rainbow flag being flown at our facilities” last year, Exxon’s PRIDE Houston employee group wrote in the email Thursday. “PRIDE was informed the justification was centered on the need for the corporation to maintain ‘neutrality.’”
“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,” Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vice president of human resources, said 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.”