Holding the Line Against Corporate LGBT Activism_2024-04-26

Holding the Line Against Corporate LGBT Activism_2024-04-26

April 26, 2024

Perhaps the fiercest and most critical battle being waged against today’s corporations, not to mention society at large, is the push toward LGBT activism. The pressure for businesses to cave into the demands for not just tolerance, nor even acceptance, but promotion and celebration of LGBT sexuality seems to build with each passing year.

This is a battle that faith-based investors must engage with vigor and resolve. If faith-based investors and other conservative-minded investors do not hold the line against LGBT activism in the corporate world, there is little else standing in the way of complete and total submission to radical sexual ideology throughout the business landscape, and from there pouring forth into broader society through any means imaginable.

It must be said that this battle is not against LGBT people. In fact, most LGBT persons that I know are certainly not activists. They are not trying to push forward an ideology, and some I have heard from have a disdain for much of the effort being expended to radicalize corporations for ideological promulgation. No, this battle is certainly a spiritual one against the spiritual forces in this present darkness and against the efforts to indoctrinate the world by normalizing a sexual narrative that is antithetical to God’s good design for His image bearers.

In this cultural moment, the battle rages fiercely and stands on the edge of a knife. And at this critical juncture we at Inspire Investing are doubling down to hold the line on screening and engaging our investments on the issue of LGBT activism, pushing ourselves and faith-based investors around the world to look deeper and more critically at how we can most effectively push back against the tide of this onslaught. Our goal is victory for truth, goodness and beauty in the name of Jesus, what we call inspiring transformation across the corporate world for God’s glory.

Critical LGBT Screening Enhancements

Historically, Inspire Investing and other faith-based firms have looked at instances of individual events or isolated actions in the categories of LGBT Philanthropy, LGBT Legislation and LGBT Promotion, such as donations to a particular LGBT philanthropy or flying a pride flag in June for pride month in order to document a corporation’s promotion for LGBT issues. I call this “instance based” screening. This screening approach has great value in that these sorts of events and actions are publicly verifiable and able to be documented for compilation into a database that can then be applied to investment decisions. And in years gone by, these instances were reliably clear signals of a company’s desire to push an LGBT activist agenda and indicative of wider spread involvement. They were an effective proxy for identifying LGBT activist corporations.

However, in more recent times much or perhaps even most of what amounts to LGBT activism in corporations today is happening behind closed doors. So called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) “trainings” (read “re-education campaigns”) touting the treasure and glories of LGBT sexuality, oppressive corporate policies that stifle the voice and freedom of employees with traditional viewpoints on marriage and sexuality, voluntary inclusion of transgender sex reassignment surgeries and “treatments” in corporate health insurance policies and so forth run rampant and yet are not publicly discernable with a Google search. And in this time of “Bud Lighting” outrage from the consumer populace over promotions of radical LGBT ideology, corporations are less likely to fly the LGBT activism flag in public (both literally and figuratively) but internally may be just as active – or more – than ever before with their LGBT activism initiatives.

Additionally, we have found that instances such as donations to certain LGBT philanthropies are not as reliable a signal of embedded LGBT activism at a corporation as they once were. More and more often these individual instances of LGBT promotion are originating through LGBT employee resource groups (ERG) or employee gift matching programs and not actually from corporate leadership at all. And many companies with donations on the books to LGBT organizations are in fact doing far less on the whole to promote LGBT ideology, when the aforementioned non-public activities are considered, than other corporations who have no discernable public donations or other public instances on record.

As investors endeavoring to be as faithful as possible to invest for God’s glory and who believe that we are going to be held accountable one day when we stand before our Lord regarding how we invested His money, we needed to adjust our approach to data and screening in order to identify true LGBT activist corporations.

The outcome of our efforts is a methodology combining the aforementioned subcategories into one category called LGBT Activism, which will report using a comprehensive data source that provides information on philanthropy, legislation, and promotion, but goes further with additional visibility into internal corporate policy and marketing efforts. The result is an easier-to-understand, more comprehensive, more objective data set surrounding corporate LGBT activism.

Starting April 2024, screening for the category LGBT Activism will be defined as, “Companies earning an above-average rating according to an annual self-reported survey conducted by a national LGBT advocacy organization, which rates companies based on their corporate LGBT activism across several areas, including philanthropy, corporate policy, marketing efforts, and legislative support. The average score is calculated from the scores of the Fortune 500 companies that participated in the annual survey.”

This updated data and methodology approach gives us deep insight into the internal, often non-public details of a corporation as well as its external activities, whereas we were previously limited to making best-effort assessments from external viewpoints only. The result of this enhancement is a more thorough and accurate measure of a corporation’s LGBT activism involvement in today’s marketplace and draws a clear, bright line between companies pushing for normalization of radical LGBT ideology, those that are pushing back against it, and those which are dabbling and need shareholders to engage and pull them back from the precipice before it’s too late.

Case Studies of the Changing Corporate LGBT Activism Landscape

ServiceNow, Inc. (ticker: NOW)

A good example of this shift is seen with the technology company ServiceNow (ticker: NOW). Because of it’s large market capitalization and positive (public) biblical values profile, ServiceNow used to be among the largest holdings in our US large cap portfolios. ServiceNow had not (publicly) given money to any of the big LGBT philanthropies that so many others give to, they had not (publicly) supported any of the LGBT legislation that so many other companies have supported, and had not otherwise (publicly) triggered any of the dozens of public incident based violations that we historically have screened for. But through our commitment to rigorous and biblically faithful data collection and screening, we discovered that ServiceNow was now receiving a perfect score from the world’s foremost LGBT activist organization for their LGBT promotion efforts.

Here was a company that had not triggered any public violations but was doing everything they could behind closed doors to win the approval of the LGBT activist mob. With our updated methodology that does not rely exclusively on public “flag waving” incidents but also includes the behind the scenes information, ServiceNow has been downgraded to a -57 Inspire Impact Score and was removed from our portfolios.

Exxon Mobil (ticker: XOM)

Conversely, Exxon Mobil (ticker: XOM) is a corporation that years ago was “clean” but had begun giving to some LGBT philanthropies and thus for the past number of years was assigned a negative Inspire Impact Score and was excluded from our investment portfolios. However, analyzing the current comprehensive picture provided by not relying exclusively on public instance data we now find that an internal struggle seems to exist at Exxon, with management pushing back against the LGBT activist regime as demonstrated by Exxon receiving a relatively low score from the leading LGBT advocacy organization that ranks companies on their LGBT promotion efforts.

n Exxon we find a large corporation under siege, trying to resist being dominated by the radical LGBT zeitgeist. We want to come to the aid of companies like Exxon and provide the necessary counter pressure as shareholders to not just resist, but push back and reduce the influence of LGBT activists, such as advocating for Exxon to stop spending shareholder dollars by making donations to LGBT philanthropies.  With our updated methodology taking a comprehensive rather than public incident based view of corporate activity, Exxon has earned a +41 Inspire Impact Score and clears us to advocate as shareholders for biblical values in one of the world’s largest companies. And God willing, we will see positive change as we speak biblical truth to corporate power.

Inspiring Transformation

As always, Inspire Investing exists to inspire transformation for God’s glory throughout the world with biblically responsible investing excellence and innovation. As difficult as it is to research, categorize, analyze and disseminate biblical investing data with reliability and accuracy, and then to extrapolate that data into a cohesive, effective, rules-based investment methodology, this is a task that we must undergo if we are to accomplish our mission. And while it would be easier to just keep doing things the way they have always been done, we must be willing to disrupt our old methods and adapt to the changing marketplace and world around us if we are going to be faithful to our calling. With this step forward in LGBT activism data collection and screening, Inspire is doing exactly that. And as a result, faith-based investors all around the world will have improved information and investment tools to invest for the glory of God.

May the Lord grant us the all the grace to persevere in holding the line and pushing back the darkness in His Name until He comes again! Maranatha!