HRC: Stop Pinkwashing Wells Fargo

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign

For decades, one of the marks of success for LGBTQ equality advocates has been fair and equal treatment by local businesses and multinational corporations. Some businesses work to achieve a high rating on the The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. According to HRC’s website, the Corporate Equality Index is “the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.”

Using this index as a guide, it would appear that the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies in the USA, and around the globe, are leading the way on pro-LGBTQ policies. However, a closer look at the policies, practices and investments of many of the top ranked businesses in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), like Wells Fargo, reveals that most of these businesses have historically and systematically underpaid LGBTQ workers, profited off of the criminalization of our bodies and invested in projects that destroy our communities. Their use of LGBTQ pride flags and company-wide nondiscrimination hiring policies to mask a pattern of race discrimination, fraud, wage theft, and investing in prisons is Pinkwashing at its finest.

Tell HRC to stop letting banks like Wells Fargo pinkwash their record of discrimination and profiting off of LGBTQ peoples’ pain.

Indeed, Wells Fargo’s recent history of support for same sex couples, rainbowed bank branches and their 100% rating from the HRC Corporate Equality Index certainly give the impression that the bank is one of the most forward thinking when it comes to valuing the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people. The truth is Well’s Fargo is behind some of the biggest threats to quality of life and livelihood of LGBTQ people especially queer and trans people of color.

While queer and trans activists of color are fighting to end the mass incarceration and immigration detention machine, HRC is giving cover to its main profiteers.

While Native American tribes unite in historic resistance -- demanding #NoDAPL to protect their water, land and way of life -- the "human rights" organization is applauding those who loaned this project its seed money.

And now, even as Wells Fargo has been caught scamming and stealing from its customers of all identities, they still enjoy a 100%, grade-A rating from the Corporate Equality Index.

HRC is set to finalize their 2017 Corporate Equality Index ratings this month. Now is the time for them to stop legitimizing companies that profit off of the terrorizing of LGBTQ communities and people of color.

Tell the Human Rights Campaign to revoke the 100% rating from Wells Fargo and all other companies that are profiting from private prisons and to join calls for Wells Fargo to end their relationship with the private prison industry and to instead direct those resources to transgender women of color who have been victims of the detention and incarceration systems in this country.


Petition by
Angela Peoples
Washington, District of Columbia
Sponsored by

To: Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign
From: [Your Name]

For decades, one of the marks of success for LGBTQ equality advocates has been fair and equal treatment by local businesses and multinational corporations. Businesses have come to actively seek a high rating from your organization's Corporate Equality Index as a demonstration of their pro-equality position. According to your website, the Corporate Equality Index is “the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.”

Using this index as a guide, it would appear that companies like Wells Fargo are leading the way on pro-LGBTQ policies. However, a closer look at the policies, practices and investments of Wells Fargo -- the third largest bank in the U.S. -- reveals how they historically and systematically underpay LGBTQ workers, profit off of the criminalization of our bodies and invest in projects that destroy our communities. This use of LGBTQ pride flags and company-wide nondiscrimination hiring policies to mask a pattern of race discrimination, fraud, wage theft, and investing in prisons is Pinkwashing at its finest.

I'm writing to ask that you stop letting banks like Wells Fargo pinkwash their record of discrimination and profiting off of LGBTQ peoples’ pain.

Well’s Fargo is behind some of the biggest threats to quality of life and livelihood of LGBTQ people especially queer and trans people of color. Whether they are profiting off of private prisons, or engaging in discriminatory lending against people of color, Wells Fargo's practices and policies have shown time and time again to be against the interest of some of the most vulnerable in our community.

I am joining LGBTQ activists around the country to ask that you revoke the 100% rating from Wells Fargo and all other companies that are profiting from private prisons. We also ask that you call on Wells Fargo to end their relationship with the private prison industry -- and to instead direct those resources to transgender women of color who have been victims of the detention and incarceration systems in this country.