Seven Florida companies get perfect LGBT score from Human Rights Campaign

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Seven Florida-based companies top the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)  2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual report assessing LGBT inclusion in Fortune 1000 companies and law firms across the nation.

Akerman LLP, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida based in Jacksonville, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt in Tampa, Darden Restaurants in  Orlando,, Holland & Knight, Office Depot,Inc. in Boca Raton and Tech Data Corp. in Clearwater were those seven law firms and companies. The lowest company of the 21 ranked was Winn-Dixie Stores from Jacksonville which received a 45 score.

Officials with both Carlton Fields Jorden Burt and Blue Cross Blue Shield (a/k/a Florida Blue) were prominent supporters of the domestic partner registry which only recently was approved in Hillsborough County this year.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

  1. Non-discrimination policies
  2. Employment benefits
  3. Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
  4. Public commitment to LGBT equality
  5. Responsible citizenship

Here’s the complete list:

Employer Name 2015 CEI Rating
Akerman LLP 100
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Inc. 100
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt 100
Darden Restaurants Inc. 100
Holland & Knight LLP 100
Office Depot Inc. 100
Tech Data Corp. 100
Adecco North America LLC 90
Harris Corp. 90
Jarden Corp. 90
Raymond James Financial Inc. 90
Carnival Corp. 85
HSN Inc. 85
Ryder System Inc. 85
Burger King Corp. 80
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 80
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. 70
CSX Corp. 70
NextEra Energy Inc. 70
Ultimate Software Group Inc., The 65
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. 45



Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at