Virgin CEO & 20 other executives sign onto initiative in support of LBGT+ rights; urge other businesses to follow suit

Author: Hugo Greenhalgh, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 7 May 2019

"Billionaire Branson urges business to back LGBT+ rights", 2 May 2019

British billionaire Richard Branson urged fellow business leaders on Thursday to use their clout and put pressure on countries such as Brunei that persecute citizens for their sexuality...

John Fallon, chief executive of education group Pearson, and Paul Polman, former chief executive of consumer goods company Unilever, were among 21 signatories of an initiative supported by Open For Business, a coalition of global firms promoting LGBT+ inclusion.

"It is time for all of us, as business leaders and as human beings, to stand up to ensure that people are free from the fear of abuse for who they love," the 21 signatories wrote.

"This is our responsibility to our employees, to our customers and to communities all over the world."

The initiative calls for businesses to create inclusive workplaces, actively support criminalised LGBT+ communities, and engage with repressive regimes on their policies...

A growing list of banks, including Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citi and Nomura, have banned staff from using [...] hotels [owned by the Brunei Investment Agency].

STA Travel and London's transport network have also begun to cut ties with businesses owned by the sultanate...

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Related companies: Citigroup Deutsche Bank Morgan Stanley Nomura Pearson Unilever Virgin Group