If you happen to own shares of Wells Fargo, make sure to open the proxy statement you should have received recently, and take the time to vote your proxy. Item 9, “Stockholder Proposal Regarding Neutral Sexual Orientation Employment Policy” (pages 105-107) is a vicious, anti-LGBT proposal asking the company to create an equal opportunity policy without reference to “any matters related to sexual interests, activities, or orientation.” As a supporting statement, the proposal adds “While the legal institution of marriage between a man and a woman should be protected, the sexual interests, inclinations and activities of all employees should be a private matter, not a corporate concern.” There’s more bile from the ultra-right, but I won’t repeat it here.
Wells Fargo has long been a corporate leader in LGBT rights, scoring a perfect 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, and sponsoring many LGBT events. The Board of Directors is urging shareholders to vote AGAINST the proposal:
The Company believes that welcoming all people and opposing discrimination in all its forms, including discrimination based on sexual orientation, represents a commitment to fairness that Americans support. This belief is how we conduct our business successfully.
This is the kind of proposal the far-right tries regularly to get past shareholders at Wells and other corporations. Wells, with its strong record of LGBT support, seems an unlikely target. Still, we can’t afford to let down our guard and assume the measure will fail.
You can vote by Internet, phone, mail, or by showing up in person at the annual meeting on April 29 in San Francisco.
(Thanks to April for the tip.)