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The Most Gay-friendly Companies

March 10, 2003

What are the best companies in America for GLBT people to work for? We came up with our own list, then we asked for your feedback. Some of you let us know about companies that didn't make our list. Others disagreed with some of our choices, citing companies that only pay lip service to diversity. Read on to find out what your peers had to say about their companies, and about being gay in corporate America. We will continue to update this list as more of your comments come in.

"I was very proud to see that Agilent Technologies was ranked number nine in the PlanetOut Partners' Best Companies to Work For 2003 list. Our site has a very active GLBT group called Safe Space that is dedicated to creating a safe and equitable work environment for GLBT employees. In the next six months we are co-sponsoring a book discussion with our diversity book club, presenting a series of lunchtime brown-bag workshops on how to be an effective ally, presenting a new member orientation and setting up a display for Pride Month. I'm proud to say that Agilent sponors our group and supports us with a modest budget even during the hardest financial times this company has ever weathered. I'm not a company spokesperson, so I don't know much about the status of groups at our other sites, but I believe there are other chapters of Safe Space and GLEN (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employee Network)in other Agilent facilities."

"As a former employee of Agilent Technologies, I want to correct your "Best 20 Companies" entry for my ex-employer. You indicated that Agilent does not have a GLBT employee group, but that is not correct. Agilent does have a few chapters around the country of GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Employee Network). The biggest chapter is in Sonoma County, California, at Agilent's locations in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. GLEN originated at Hewlett-Packard Co. and was cloned when the two companies split in 1999."

American Airlines
"American Airlines (AMR Corp.) gave the GLBT community one of the first EEOC policies against discrimination. They have been the recipient of many awards by the community. Not only do they have a policy against sexual orientation discrimination but gender expression as well. They also support a diversity group in HR called GLEEM for GLBT employees."

American Express
"What can I say -- it's great!"

"American Express is a great place to work as a gay man ... It allows me to speak openly about my domestic partner, it offers insurance for us both and the fact that other gay people work there allows me to work in peace and harmony as the individual I am."

"Located in Thousand Oaks, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, Amgen is an excellent company to work for. It creates a number of drugs that help heal and enrich the lives of cancer patients, renal failure patients and persons with rheumatoid arthritis, among other diseases. Amgen offers full benefits to domestic partners and their children at extremely affordable rates (the same as for a hetero couple). They also allow the use of facilities like the on-campus gym. In addition to recognizing gay relationships, the environment is open, tolerant, understanding and allows for individual strengths to be displayed, regardless of sexuality. Nobody ever makes me feel out of place or says derogatory things. In fact, everyone I have come out to at work has been supportive, accepting and loving -- including management! After working in a very conservative company for several years, my move to Amgen has been one incredible experience. I would recommend them as a company for your list."

"I've been working for Apple for about six months, and it has been absolutely the most fun job ever. That's in no small part due to my wonderful co-workers, and the nondiscrimination policies in place. Two of the three people who trained me and my co-workers were queer (one gay man and one lesbian), and two of my co-workers have been gay men (one was just a seasonal employee). There's a great sense of community, and I'm actively encouraged by my boss and co-workers to be myself. In my job, I have to deal with the public constantly, but I was still hired, even though I have a nontraditional piercing in my left ear, and my boss has supported and encouraged me whenever I wanted to dye my hair. Everybody I work with is very accepting, and I always go home feeling happy. Partner benefits are excellent. I know at least one person who interviewed for my position was turned away because they made a homophobic comment during their interview. Overall, it's the most enjoyable job I've ever had."

Archstone-Smith Communities
"We are a $10 billion company based in Denver (actually Englewood, a suburb), and very GLBT friendly. There are a number of us there at the corporate office, and we are open, gayly forward (not obnoxious!), free to be us, talk about our partners like anyone else and are offered "partner benefits." My boss regularly asks how my partner is, is very friendly toward him, and LIKES him besides! I have never been able to be so open at a job and not worry about it or anything! Company policy includes nondiscrimination on sexual orientation. My partner is included in ALL company activities where partners/spouses/whatever are invited, and I do take him and feel completely comfortable and not threatened in the least! I just feel totally accepted here. The company lives up to that, and more, and life has never been better, for me at work and who I am."

Bank of America
"I would recommend my employer because they support domestic partner benefits, have a nondiscrimination policy in place and foster diversity in the workplace through seminars and training. All of our employees are treated with respect and are only judged by their work performance. In fact we have gay/lesbian employees in various levels of management and departments. I encourage everyone to take a look at the Web site and find out about our "Team Bank of America" diversity network."

"I used to always see Bank of America on lists of the best gay-friendly companies, but I haven't seen it over the past few years. So I can't help think that it has something to do with the headquarters moving from San Francisco to Charlotte, NC. When the merger of BankAmerica and NationsBank happened back in 1998, it sent shock waves through San Francisco bigger than many of its storied earthquakes. Yet four and a half years later there have been absolutely no negative impact to gays and lesbians in the Bay Area who work for Bank of America. All of their proactive policies and protections still exist and are enforced stronger than ever before. Further, what other companies gave in excess of $1 million dollars for the new gay and lesbian community center in San Francisco? The real strengths of Bank of America are not what it has contributed to the Bay Area, but what it has brought to those of us in the Deep South. The merger has brought Charlotte, and North Carolina as a whole, decades into the future and created a completely different view of Southern culture. Soon after that merger, USAirways and First Union Bank, the fourth largest U.S. bank (both headquartered in Charlotte) included domestic partner benefits and nondiscrimination. Those companies simply followed Bank of America's lead, and the result is a truly "New South" attitude in the Carolinas. All at no compromise to those wonderful values and cultures created years past in San Francisco. FYI: There IS fabulous gay life between Atlanta and D.C. Check it out sometime."

Barnes & Noble
"I have worked for Barnes & Noble for the past six years and they are absolutely fantastic when it comes to being gay-positive. Granted, B&N takes a lot of heat from independent booksellers for being too big and unresponsive to customers, but our philosophy could not be further from that. We have become a Fortune 500 company by selling books. Not hardware. Not SUVs. Not clothing. When books are a company's business, it means that ideas must be our business. When ideas are your business, it means that, in order for your business to grow, your company must be open to all ideas and points of view. Barnes & Noble knows the value of all their employees, regardless of gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation. My boss is a gay man, and he is married to a man who is also a Barnes & Noble store manager. While I cannot speak for all of our stores, I can say that fully 20 percent of the staff at my store is gay and lesbian. All of the gay and lesbian employees know that we have the same benefits and protections as the heterosexual employees. The one time a customer used an anti-gay epithet in my presence, he was treated the same way customers who sexually harass people at our stores are treated -- he was made to leave. While this incident in itself was not pleasant, it demonstrated to me exactly how sure I can be that I am safe at work. I have Barnes & Noble, and its commitment to fairness in all of its policies (and true diversity in the workplace) to thank for that."

Best Buy Enterprises
"Best Buy Enterprises Inc., parent company to Best Buy Retail, Sam Goody, Media Play, Suncoast Video, OnCue, Musicland, Magnolia Hi-Fi and Future Shops Ltd., is a very gay-friendly company. As of this year the company is extending all of its benefits -- medical, dental, life, etc. -- to same-sex couples in both its field retail operations and corporate offices. The company is also very well known for promoting tolerance and understanding toward everyone by teaching management respect and humility as its core values. I have been with this company for nearly three years and this has been the most understanding environment I've worked in. This is a company where I am comfortable taking my boyfriend to the company Christmas party or any other function."

Borders Books and Music
"I nominate Borders Books and Music as one of the most gay-friendly companies in the U.S. I worked for them for four years. Borders' treatment of gays and lesbians goes beyond tolerance of us to acceptance and inclusion of our population. They offer domestic partner benefits. There is equal opportunity for advancement for all people. They support gay authors and musicians throughout the calendar year. They are committed to well-stocked gay lit and gay studies sections. Gay Pride Month is celebrated companywide. They even have a traditional trolley in the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco. In addition, Will on "Will & Grace" dated a Borders Employee in one episode. I was never made to feel odd or different while I worked for Borders. I believe this is because Borders looks to celebrate ALL diversity in its work force. It hires to create a climate where all views and peoples come together to make a unified whole. And in so doing, Borders creates a workplace which could serve as a model for the greater world. In addition, Borders CEOs and upper and middle management comport themselves with great respect toward all their employees, treating each as valuable to the whole and listening to all voices. I endorse this best of all bookstores as one of the best companies in the U.S. for gay friendliness with as much conviction as I would endorse it as one of the best companies to work for in the U.S."

"I work for CH2MHILL, which ranked #96 (first year on the list) in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. CH2MHILL offers full same-sex domestic partnership benefits and promotes diversity for all full-time employees. Our office of 200 employees is headed by an openly gay man who has been with the firm over 20 years. There are hundreds of gay/lesbian single and partnered employees with the firm. In my five-year tenure with the firm being openly gay, I have not encountered or heard of a single discriminatory event toward our sexuality."

"I've been employed with the Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, part of the Chubb Corporation, for four years, and the company has by far been the best I have ever worked for. Not only are they an equal opportunity employer, but they are full supporters of spousal benefits and have a zero tolerance policy that I personally have seen in force. I came out during my first year working with Chubb, and the support I received from my friends at work, as well as the company as a whole, is a stellar example for any company out there!

Cingular Wireless
"The health-care provider does have domestic partner benefits; they're kind of hard to get activated though. More important, the management team is not discriminatory toward homosexuals. Just an overall fun and accepting place to work."

Convergys Corporation
"Convergys Corporation is a great place to work if you are a gay man or lesbian. The company strongly recognizes diversity. Convergys recognizes same-sex partner benefits and celebrates Gay Pride month."

"They recognize Gay Pride each year, honor same-sex benefits, and I have never heard of any cases of discrimination based on sexual preference. All in all, I feel that Convergys is definitely a gay-positive company."

"I loved your gay-friendly company list, but wanted to let you know that some things have definitely changed at Dell. First, there is now a Pride Group -- a support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. At this time, only nonexempt employees can formally join; however, the members have a Friends of Pride group and have openly encouraged temporary and hourly wage employees to join the group. I know because I am in that category. In addition, Dell has included sexual orientation and gender presentation in the nondiscrimination clause. As part of diversity training, all employees have been told that harassment based on sexual orientation and gender presentation will not be tolerated. It's not a perfect place, but Dell is trying. My personal experience is that Dell has been a very supportive workplace and that I have always felt free to be exactly who I am."

Deloitte & Touche
"I work at Deloitte & Touche and personally I could not believe that it was on the list. Yes, the company provides domestic partnership. Yes, they have a nondiscriminatory policy for hiring. But I would not say they have presence on GLBT employees, at least not at my office. It took me a year and a half to even find out that there was a GLBT employee group. I searched for it and never found one reference to it until I came across it mistakenly. The group members are all human resources and IT. There is not one person from any other departments, and definitely no one of importance within the organization that is a part of the group. Deloitte & Touche would like to say to the world they are a leader in diversity, but the company is still an "old boys" network. Gay jokes are still commonplace and accepted. You can be gay and get hired at Deloitte & Touche, but you are definitely not moving up in the ranks here. The everyday existence of Deloitte & Touche is NOT GLBT friendly."

"I think Expedia.com deserves to be listed, as it has a nondiscrimination policy (strictly enforced) and provides domestic partner benefits. There are many gays and lesbians working there in all levels of management down to the workers."

First Union/Wachovia
"First Union's nondiscrimination of gay/lesbian employees was in place when I started 7-1/2 years ago. At that time, it was an add-on to the required civil rights act poster. Last year, as part of the merger with Wachovia Bank, our company surveyed numerous employees, in various demographic categories. Surveys were run by an outside company, and I was in two: white males and gay/lesbian. My site (call center) manager was there also, along with a few of my fellow employees. The following October, I had created two posters, a small one for my cube and a larger one I hung up near the door. I am sure all the managers knew my work; however, another employee pulled it down. As it turned out, I was at work that day, so when it was missing, I sent an immediate e-mail to the site manager. He tracked down the employee and hung it up, and suggested to that employee that he visit the company internal nondiscrimination site, and pay attention to the gay/lesbian area. At this time our company has a regular team of employees who meet and discuss assorted issues. Their findings, etc., are broadcast on a regular basis. The managers have their own sensitivity training. They are constantly going to meetings to examine diversity in the workplace."

"I sit on a regional diversity roundtable for Wachovia and I must say they are truly a joy to work with. I worked for First Union, leaving in 1997. Now I am back with the merger with Wachovia and I am pleasantly pleased with the inroads they have made. Not only are the comments that are already on your site true, but First Union/Wachovia also allows domestic partners (gay or straight) to be covered under our current medical and dental plans. I think the corporation should be lauded for taking such bold moves in a very conservative industry."

Gap Inc.
"Wow was I surprised when I didn't see Gap Inc. on the list. To me and my employees, not many other retail companies are as gay-friendly as they say they are. I have never seen so many gay men working in the same place since the gay men's chorus, and I think that's largely in part due to the nondiscrimination statement that includes sexual orientation. It's no mystery that many of the consumers there are gay -- especially when they are checking one of us out behind a shelf at Banana Republic. Although Gap Inc., which includes Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, is mostly a teenage thing, I have never worked at a store that has been more gay friendly to me. One of managers wanted to hear my coming out story; how often does that happen?"

"My brother used to work at Gateway Computers, and they have sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination clause. They also have a gay employee group. It's a very gay-friendly company."

"Rainbow flag flies over campus in June. Rents a suite for employees along route of Pride parade in SF. Great commitment to diversity -- supports staff going to Out and Equal conferences. Supports scholarship for GLBT youth in college. Companywide social event for all staff sponsored by GLBT employees (Kinsey Sicks last performers). Very affirming place to work."

Goldman Sachs
"Although any trading/banking firm tends to have an environment of "straight male machismo," Goldman Sachs gets very high points for trying. They have gay-oriented recruiting events, focus much of their mandatory diversity training on gay-oriented issues, and one time even had a photography exhibit outside the cafeteria of same-sex families entitled 'Love Makes a Family.'"

Home Depot
"Just wanted to let you know that my experience with Home Depot is very positive when it comes to gay employees. I've worked at one store in California and now at another in Texas. Both stores have a good mix of gay people and management. They have no "issues" with those employees that are gay. I don't know if there is any nondiscrimination clause, but the atmosphere is positive anyway. Nor do I know if there is a domestic partner benefit, since I am single and it wouldn't pertain to me. All I do know is that I've been there for a while now and the gay employees are liked, admired and respected at least as much as their straight counterparts, if not more so."

"I worked for IBM for 22-1/2 years. I retired last year. I was out for the last seven years I worked for IBM. The essence of IBM's policy about GLBT lifestyles is that people's sexual preferences have nothing to do with their work or their ability to perform. I never encountered any prejudice or any hint of disdain from any of my co-workers or management. I was paid well, given opportunities and had broad participation. I was not treated any different because I was gay, nor was anyone else I knew who was gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender. IBM has GLBT employee organizations, domestic partner benefits and out executives. Every year employees must attend equal opportunity sessions which focus on diversity. Just because a company is quiet and conservative does not mean that their employee relations policies are not forward thinking.

"I am shocked that you would include IBM in your list. Although they pay lip service to gay benefits, by and large this is not a gay-friendly company. In fact, just the opposite is true. My partner worked there for 20 years and consistently faced anti-gay personnel, mostly from IBM's Dallas headquarters."

Kaiser Permanente
"Just wanted to say that my company, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Kaiser Permanente, has given complete benefits to employees' gay partners for several years now. In fact it was one of the first large companies to do so, in the early '90s. The benefits include health, dental, optical, life insurance, etc., as would be granted to one's spouse. Also, about two years ago I took a two-day cultural diversity seminar offered to all employees. It was wonderful in teaching acceptance of not only cultural and racial differences, but sexual orientation ones as well. One young Asian manager actually came out in the seminar because the climate in the class was so accepting."

"I have worked for Kaiser Permanente as an RN first in San Diego and now in the Northwest. Kaiser is a wonderful place to work and has been nothing but supportive to me as a lesbian employee. We have full domestic partner benefits, rights to partner's life insurance/pension and a very active Pride group. Kaiser gay employees have also been encouraged to advocate for our patient base population and are a resource for the diversity of our staff as well as our patients. It came as quite a surprise to me that Kaiser was so supportive to its gay staff."

"Not only does Marriott provide domestic partner benefits for many of the people I work with, it is also one of the top companies to work for according to Fortune 500 and other publications. It is a very diverse company, hiring and promoting people from many different cultures around the world. After 9/11, Marriott refused to fire or lay off like many other companies. Marriott did have to decrease the hours of many employees, but they suspended the number of hours you had to work to keep your health benefits for a year. I don't believe many companies go out of their way to provide a great working environment for their employees like Marriott does."

Marshalls TJX
"I work for Marshalls department stores as a regional investigator The TJX companies consist of Marshalls, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and AJ Wright stores as well as TK Maxx in England. They place extremely high priority on diversity and respect in the workplace. They have incredible people working in this company, with great vision for the future. As most retailers do, we have a lot of gays working in all types of positions. I think they are extremely open and don't judge anyone by how they live their life. It's a growing company with endless opportunities, and I am very glad I work with them."

Muzak definitely "gets it". Not only does Muzak provide domestic partnership benefits and a totally open and supportive working environment, but never has my sexual orientation caused any problems or challenges internally or externally in the field. In fact, being gay has been an asset to have me as the "token" or minority on the account executive team at our regional office. Yes, Virginia, being gay, out and proud is totally embraced by this 70-year-old company with over 200 regional offices and 350,000 national clients! I have been employed by other gay-friendly companies; however, Muzak has been totally supportive of me, my lifestyle and my family beyond my expectations."

"I can honestly say we have tremendous benefits, a diverse atmosphere and have been known to fire people for not being gay friendly. We are a nationwide organization of roughly 10,000 employees, Fortune 500 list. I can say I know a few members of senior management who are openly gay."

Pitney Bowes
"Whenever I read these top 20 type lists, it just reminds me what a wonderful secret Pitney Bowes is! I was more than pleased to find out they have DP benefits that match the employee's plan, including dental and vision and a wonderful adoption assistance plan. Not to mention we now have an optional long-term insurance policy for DPs and general family members. Don't let me forget 21+ vacation days a year, It's a wonderful environment to work in!"

Presbyterian Health Plan
"Presbyterian Health Plan/Health Services has been an innovator of change and community development. Presbyterian has an intense sense of community; I have been motivated to participate in the March of Dimes, Road Runner Foodbank, and Run for the Zoo. Albuquerque is a college town, with bright medical, health, nursing and business students. This last year Presbyterian Health Plan started to offer domestic partnership benefits. I was astounded. What a brave and motivating company. I could name at least a dozen straight, family-minded individuals who have chosen not to judge the gay individuals who have dedicated years to this company. They have looked at those individuals for their net worth of dedication, willingness to change and motivation to help improve the health of individuals, families and communities. I have bought completely into the vision of this up-and-coming, large, hometown-based company. I'm proud to be a part of Presbyterian's goals."

Quest Diagnostics
"Although you did not list Quest Diagnostics in your survey, we have, in fact, achieved an HRC score of 86. We have an increasingly active diversity program, with diversity councils at each of our 30-plus locations nationwide. We have active employee networks, which includes our Pride Network for GLBT employees -- one of the first three employee networks. Quest Diagnostics has supported our attendance at Pride festivals around the country and at the Out and Equal conferences for the past two years. We have two sponsors who are vice-presidents. Quest Diagnostics also offers domestic partner benefits that include bereavement leave and relocation benefits. Our EEO policy includes sexual orientation."

"I work for telecom giant SBC (Pacific Bell, Ameritech, Southwest Bell), and they are extremely gay-friendly. We do have domestic partner benefits, and a very strong nondiscrimination policy, protecting not only GLBT employees but all other minorities as well. We have a very active, officially sanctioned GLBT employee organization that provides a strong, visible presence at Gay Pride events as well as AIDS Walks and other fundraising events beneficial to the GLBT communities in the states we do business in. One example of how well GLBT employees are treated is a good friend of mine at the company. His partner is in the late stages of AIDS and had to be hospitalized in Los Angeles for several weeks. We work and live in Northern California, but the company gave my friend, no questions or hesitations, a temporary transfer to L.A. so he would still be able to make a living and be in close proximity to his partner. When the crisis had passed, they simply came home, and my friend picked up at our office with no interruption of salary or benefits. I have been with the company for almost five years and have never had an uncomfortable moment being an out gay man, and I am consistently chosen for the "plum" assignments in our office. One important line in our corporate vision statement is "SBC values the diversity in our workforce and among our customers," and they truly mean every word."

"I am 23 years old. I have held positions with several different companies and the company I work for now, Sprint PCS, is the best by far. All my life, I have never had a straight male friend. Maybe it was because I grew up in small-town Georgia, but I now reside in Florida and the people here are great. The straight guys at my job are very accepting. You are invited to go out to parties or to the bar, all the things I have longed to do. Sprint considers itself a family company, but it doesn't just cater to the contemporary family. My partner and I have been together for over three years now. Recently he was ill. I had to leave work to get him to the doctor, and there was no problem in me doing so. My manager is straight, but is very accepting of my lifestyle. He even inquires on how my partner is, how things are going with us and how our new house is coming along. I feel very comfortable and safe in my environment."

"I have worked for Starbucks for over six years now, and I have received nothing but support from them as a corporation. My partner is covered for medical insurance, maternity/paternity leave and the respect of having sexual orientation as part of their nondiscrimination policy."

"Same-sex domestic partnership or same-sex marriage. They give you and your partner benefits plus two phones for $10 a month!"

"I nominate Teavana (www.teavana.com), which is going to be known as the Starbucks of tea. The company's roots go back to Atlanta (a.k.a. "Hotlanta"), and they're slowly branching out all over the U.S., with stores currently in Georgia, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Virginia and Florida. I am a manager for Teavana, and many other managers are gay just like me. We are very open with our sexuality, and the company does not shy away from this like many other places would. The atmosphere is very gay friendly, from the diverse people that work here to the regular customers. It has been a great attraction to the gay and lesbian community. I nominate this place for being so accepting of all lifestyles."

United Air Lines
"As you know, United Air Lines is having a very hard time right now fiscally. United made me very proud about three years ago when we were the first airline to come out with domestic partnership. I thought this was a very bold step, despite all the negative feedback we got from all those religious sects. No sooner had we done it than American Airlines and US Airways joined in too. I say kudos to United for having the guts to be the first. We also sponsor a lot of gay events throughout the country: Gay Ski Week in Aspen for one, and Halloween in New Orleans."

"I have worked for Vivendi Universal Entertainment (a.k.a. Universal) for 10 years, in fact, since I was 19 years old. Universal has always been an incredible place for GLBT employees. Universal was the first major movie studio to incorporate sexual orientation into its equal opportunity policy and to offer spousal equivalent (only for same-sex partners) benefits in 1989. In addition, Lew Wassermann (recently deceased chairman) and the studio cosponsored the creation of the now defunct Hollywood Supports, a nonprofit organization focusing on providing GLBT and AIDS awareness training to entertainment companies. AIDS awareness has continued to be a core part of the company's community and volunteer programs; we host the L.A. AIDS Dance-a-thon and numerous other GLBT-themed events.

But beyond policies and leadership, Universal is a place where GLBT employees can not only feel safe, but contributing members of the organization. During my career, there have been a handful of attempts at creating an employee GLBT organization; however, every time the consensus is that there is no purpose for the group other than networking, as there are no pressing organizational issues for GLBT employees.

In my own department, I have seen people support a long-term employee who is transgendered as she went through the transition. I have also participated in recruiting events at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and CSW Pride Festival, where even front line employees felt comfortable coming to tell prospective candidates about their experiences being gay in the workforce."

"My partner and I are employed at Verizon. Verizon celebrates and recognizes the diverse cultures of its employees. I was most impressed with Verizon's policy of nondiscrimination, which fosters and recognizes the value of each individual and embraces our diverse culture. This policy of nondiscrimination is evident in Verizon's same-sex partner health insurance coverage. Verizon recognizes our GLBT groups and listens to our concerns. Every June, Verizon flies our rainbow flag at many high-profile locations in celebration of GLBT pride. Many "family" members of our community work there and share my opinion."

"Verizon Wireless is an awesome company to work for. They have excellent benefits and they offer same-sex coverage for those of us who have live-in partners. They promote a great working environment for their gay/bi/lesbian staff. They have excellent no-tolerance policies in place about harassment based on sexual orientation, if ever that should arise."

Walt Disney Company
"I'm surprised Disney hasn't made the cut in your Top 21. Disney has always had a record of gay pride and advancing tolerance. They even hold special Gay Pride days at their theme parks, which are the most family-orientated places in the world. Disney wants gay families to be as happy and accepted as straight families. I personally don't work for the company but I have friends that do."

"Walt Disney World is one of the most gay-friendly companies anyone could ever work for!"

Watson Wyatt Worldwide
"I work for Watson Wyatt Worldwide. We're a management consulting firm specializing in Human Capital Consulting and headquartered in Washington, D.C. I would like to nominate my employer as one of the most gay-friendly places to work because they have offered domestic partner benefits to their employees for at least nine years and have posted non-discrimination language (including sexual orientation) that has also been in place for years. I am an openly gay male with HRC and rainbow flags adorning my office walls. I have taken my partner to our annual holiday party for the past four years without giving it a second thought. Watson Wyatt encourages employees to complete diversity training to help us understand that we're all unique in some way and have something positive to offer to one another. Personally, I have been marked as a "high potential" employee, which further supports my opinion that sexual orientation is not an issue at this employer."

Whole Foods
"I work for Whole Foods markets and I think it is a great place for a gay or lesbian to work! Whole Foods treats all their employees with respect, and they understand that the employees make the company, not the upper management. We receive domestic partner benefits and major profit sharing."

"I work for the Central YMCA in London, U.K., and it is a great place to work as a gay man -- and a great place regardless of your gender, sexuality, age or HIV status, or whether you work there or are a member -- home away from home! I've been there for 10 years and people often leave to go work elsewhere only to come back months, a year, sometime later! I love it!"

Source: Planet Out

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