McDonald’s ‘Pride Network’ Supports LGBTQ+ Causes

It’s been little more than three months since Anheuser-Busch  (BUD) – Get Free Report engaged in a small social media advertising partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The advertisement featured Mulvaney discussing and showing a photo of a Bud Light can with her image printed on it.

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The backlash was immediate and fierce, as people began boycotting Bud Light and posting videos to social media showing them damaging Bud Light cans and cases by various means.

The most notorious of these involved musician Kid Rock shooting up a few cases of Bud Light with an automatic rifle.

The outrage, originally targeted at Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with a transgender advocate, began to spread to other brands that associated themselves with LGBTQ+ issues in general.

Target  (TGT) – Get Free Report came under fire for selling Pride-related merchandise approaching the traditional Pride month of June.

Kohl’s  (KSS) – Get Free Report was attacked because it sold clothes related to Pride.

Other companies were criticized as being “woke” when it came to LGBTQ+ issues as well, including Chick-fil-A, North Face, Adidas  (ADDYY) – Get Free Report and Nike  (NKE) – Get Free Report.

McDonald’s Takes Pride in Its Dedication to Equal Rights

Fast food chain McDonald’s has said it is a defender of inclusivity and highlights its Pride Network.

“Global Pride Network is an employee business network dedicated to making McDonald’s better by leveraging the talent and experiences of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally employees,” the company wrote on LinkedIn. “The Pride Network gives LGBT and Ally employees a chance to connect across the system with colleagues and mentors who want to foster their contributions and talents.”

In fact, the day before the Mulvaney social media video, McDonald’s posted a press release on its corporate website explaining the network.

For years, McDonald’s PRIDE Network has been instrumental in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights inside and outside of the workplace. McDonald’s first expanded its benefits to include domestic partners in 2005. In 2015, days before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled all same-sex couples in the U.S. have the right to marry, McDonald’s decided to provide tax equalization for same-sex couples who participated in McDonald’s insurance. Still, the PRIDE Network realized there was more that could be done.

McDonald’s current LGBTQ-focused health care benefits are far-reaching, due in no small part to the efforts of those in the network. These include a $100,000 lifetime limit toward gender reassignment surgery; prescription coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention and a variety of gender reassignment medications; adoption leave for the primary adoptive parent, regardless of gender; and fertility treatment benefits.

Recently, several McDonald’s employees have taken advantage of these benefits to affirm their gender, protect their physical health and grow their families.

“The people in the network have taught me so much, including the importance of being resilient and accepting things I don’t understand,” longtime member Bill Russell said.

“I have a colleague who has a trans son,” Russell added. “When he found out I was a member of the Pride Network, he felt comfortable coming to me and sharing more about his family.”

The Pride Network “pulls the best from everybody,” he continued. “It’s humbling and empowering to learn from the people in the network every day.”

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