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Just in time to kick-off of the holiday shopping season, HRC is releasing our annual buyers guide that rates hundreds of popular American brands on their businesses’ treatment of LGBT employees. “Buying for Equality 2010” divides businesses and their consumer products into red, yellow and green categories based on their score on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, a nationally recognized benchmark of LGBT inclusion. The guide — previous versions of which have been viewed and downloaded more than 300,000 times — is available for download and viewing online at www.hrc.org/buyersguide.

The LGBT community is estimated to have $712 billion in buying power this year, according to research by Witeck-Combs Communications and MarketResearch.com. A recent study by Witeck-Combs/Harris Interactive also found that 78 percent of LGBT people are extremely or very likely to consider brands that are known to provide equal workplace benefits for their employees, including LGBT workers.

Said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese:

“Congress is currently considering the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a critical piece of workplace legislation that will include our community. Until all LGBT Americans get fair treatment in the workplace, we must support businesses that support us. By purchasing products from businesses that support LGBT equality, shoppers send a clear message to businesses that their support, or lack thereof, will directly impact their bottom line.”

“From determining which car to purchase, to the right holiday gift for the kids, to everyday grocery shopping, this guide harnesses the power of equality-minded shoppers. At this moment it’s critically important that businesses hear that their customers support businesses that support us,” said Solmonese.

Fair-minded consumers are also encouraged to write to businesses to either thank them for their support, ask them revise their policies, or encourage them to participate in the Corporate Equality Index. More information can be found at www.hrc.org/consumeradvocacy.

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