ExxonMobil Shareholders Teed Off Over Masters Sponsorship
A group of ExxonMobil shareholders has filed a resolution charging Exxon with discrimination for sponsoring the annual Masters golf tournament. The 70th Masters, which took place last weekend, is always held at the exclusive all-male Augusta National Golf Club. The resolution asserts that ExxonMobil’s sponsorship of the event violates company anti-discrimination policy, and calls for management to provide detailed reports of all expenses paid to venues that discriminate against women.
The resolution’s lead filer is Martha Burk, director of the Corporate Accountability Project at the National Council of Women’s Organizations and Money Editor of Ms. magazine, who will bring the proposal before stockholders at a meeting next month in Dallas. Burk has led the protest against Augusta National since 2002, when she urged the PGA Tour, which sanctions but does not own or sponsor the Masters, to distance itself from the tournament. After Burk and other women’s leaders led a protest at the 2003 Masters, CBS broadcast the event with no commercial sponsorship for two years in a row (see Ms. magazine, Summer 2003). Last year, only one of the former sponsors, IBM, returned, joined by ExxonMobil and AT&T, two companies whose top executives are members of Augusta National.
The PGA announced in 1990 that it would not hold future tournaments at clubs that discriminate on the basis of race or sex after a controversy erupted regarding the site of that year’s PGA Tour, Shoal Creek Golf Club in Alabama, which at the time barred African-American members. However, the Masters has continued to be held at the all-male Augusta, with the sanction of the PGA. "The message that the business leaders of the largest corporations in the world are sending is that gender discrimination is not as serious as racial discrimination," Burk said in an interview with Ms. magazine.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .