News » News

ACT UP To Protest HRC's Annual Corporate Gala

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Jan 15, 2015

On January 31, ACT UP will protest the Human Rights Campaign's annual fundraising gala held in New York City, which this year will celebrate a number of Fortune 500 companies that rated high in their 2015 Corporate Equality Index.

Towleroad reports that members of the group are angered that the corporations "only require that corporations have basic equality measures, despite many having awful track records when it comes to their involvement in funding anti-LGBT legislation."

They are also upset that these Fortune 500 companies are permitted to ignore "HIV and the thousands of LGBT people with HIV in the workplace."

"We demand that HRC include several criteria to evaluate companies on their treatment of employees living with HIV, as well as their contributions to organizations and causes related to reducing the incidence of HIV among LGBT Americans, particularly among the young," the protest's Facebook page reads. "For over 30 years, too many have been fired, harassed, outed and discriminated against at work for having HIV."

The ACT UP crew also vows to stand up for the rights of the downtrodden little man, the many middle- and low-income Americans and the young gay men and transgender women, especially people of color.

"Also at this gala, many of the corporations that HRC will honor actively work against the interests of middle-class and poor Americans, including people with HIV. ACT UP denounces this frequent practice of 'pinkwashing' whereby corporations with policies and practices that undermine the people's well-being are given positive publicity in exchange for maintaining LGBT-friendly (or just equal) workplaces," they write. "This is short-sighted and divisive. We demand that HRC develop other criteria that takes into account the impact of companies' policies on every American, not just LGBT Americans."

Attire for the march is described as "street fabulous," and protestors are encouraged to bring "pots, pans, signs, props and noisemakers."

"We need our national LGBT orgs like HRC to shine a spotlight on HIV and AIDS until the epidemic is over for all populations, especially our most at-risk LGBT people," said ACT UP.

ACT UP will protest from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, January 31 outside the Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue at 49th St. For more information, visit or

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook