ExxonMobil will reportedly be extending employee benefits to same-sex partners and spouses beginning in January of 2014. Shareholders of Exxon Mobil defeated repeated attempts to implement domestic partner benefits, most recently last May to explicitly ban discrimination against gay people.
The change is due to the federal recognition of marriage equality following the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." The company stated they will recognize all legal marriages.
"Homophobia is bad for business and bad for ExxonMobil. It's long past due for ExxonMobil to take some steps toward being inclusive," said GLAAD's National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz, "This is a huge step into the present day for this enormous corporation"
ExxonMobil, the most profitable corporation the world has ever known, posted the second-highest annual corporate profit in history in 2012 (surpassed only by its own 2008 record): $45 billion.
The same year Exxon posted its record profits (and again this year) The Human Rights Campaign gave Exxon Mobil the lowest score on its Corporate Equality Index ever received by any corporation, a negative 25 out of 100; it was also the first company to ever receive a negative score.
Exxon erased previously established nondiscriminatory and partner benefit policies in companies it purchased, such as Mobil Oil Corporation and XTO Energy. It was the only company known to have ever permanently done so.