- Seattle Pride announced Tuesday it was cutting ties with Amazon for the 2022 Seattle Pride Parade.
- The organization cited Amazon’s political donation record, that anti-LGBTQ groups use AmazonSmile.
- An Amazon spokesperson told Insider it “stand[s] together with the LGBTQ+ community.”
Seattle Pride will not allow Amazon to sponsor LGBTQ pride celebration events in 2022.
The nonprofit, which organizes pride events in Seattle and does other advocacy work, released a statement Tuesday that it would “part ways” with Amazon.
“Seattle Pride has decided to not partner with Amazon for the 2022 Seattle Pride Parade because of their financial donations to politicians who actively propose and support anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, oppose pro-LGBTQIA+ and other human rights legislation, and for allowing anti-LGBTQIA+ organizations to raise funds from their AmazonSmile program,” the statement read.
In its longer statement, Seattle Pride added it had been criticized for becoming “too corporate.”
“While we’ve always believed the more people who want to celebrate the better – a far cry from the early days of the parade — we also have taken the criticism to heart,” it added, and decided to review its business partners and ask them to participate in a “diversity, equity, and inclusion survey and evaluation process.”
As Insider has reported, Amazon’s corporate PAC had previously contributed over $460,000 in donations to politicians who voted against the Equality Act — which supports LGBTQ protections — when it came up for a vote in February 2021.
This scenario occurs especially because large corporations, like Amazon and Walmart, donate to both sides of the aisle to maximize influence.
Corporations in general have faced criticism for years for using proximity to the LGBTQ community for marketing and credibility while engaging in apparently conflicting behaviors, also known as “Rainbow Capitalism.” Related issues have been brought up when companies have declared support for Black Lives Matter.
Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek apologized for the company’s response to Florida’s “Don’t say gay” bill and suspended political donations in Florida after coming under fire for having apparently donated to the bills’ sponsors.
In its statement, Seattle Pride blasted Amazon for donations to sponsors of state-level anti LGBTQ bills and ones that prohibit critical race theory discussion in schools, as well as criticized an existing measure for measuring corporations’ LGBTQ records from the Human Rights Campaign.
“Amazon has a perfect HRC score despite the aforementioned support of anti-LGBTQIA+ politicians and organizations, as well as publicly reported workers’ rights issues including instances of employee discrimination and bullying,” it said.
An Amazon spokesperson shared a statement with Insider.
“Amazon has long supported Seattle Pride because we believe that the rights of LGBTQ+ people must be protected. We stand together with the LGBTQ+ community, were early and strong supporters of marriage equality, and are working at the U.S. federal and state level on legislation, including supporting passage of the Equality Act. We also work hard to offer an inclusive environment for employees and for five consecutive years we’ve received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index.”
The company added it is working with state and federal lawmakers on legislation that supports LGBTQ people, including the Equality Act — and that it does not endorse the views of every organization that uses AmazonSmile, which allows customers to donate small percentages of their purchases to charities.
Founder Jeff Bezos started Amazon in a garage in nearby Bellevue, Washington.