Best Buy offers to screen donations to LGBTQ nonprofits to appease conservatives

Best Buy employees wanting to donate part of their paycheck to LGBTQ causes have to reckon with their own employer, which offered to screen such donations to please an ultra-conservative pressure group. The offer to the National Center for Public Policy Research, made by a Best Buy attorney named Marina Rizzo, was found in an SEC filing and reported by NBC News.

The dialogue, which hasn't been previously reported, shows how the center said it would make "a splash" unless the consumer electronics giant moved in favor of its demands. 

In some of the last correspondence in the filing, Best Buy noted that it allows its employee resource groups "some discretion to directly support organizations of their choosing" but added that "any such contributions would be screened to ensure they do not advocate or support the causes or agendas you have identified as concerning." One of the causes the NCPPR cited was transgender care for minors, which the group falsely described as an attempt to "mutilate the reproductive organs of children."

Challenged by NBC, Best Buy spokesperson Carly Charlson had nothing to offer but PR boilerplate about "inclusion" and "a culture of belonging where everyone feels valued." She hid behind the company's work with the Human Rights Commission—the only group Best Buy was granted permission by the NCPPR to continue working with ("for now"), according to the exposed communications. It immediately objected to Charlson's statement:

"The news of this SEC filing is very concerning, and we are working in partnership with Best Buy to understand more," Eric Bloem, HRC's vice president of programs and corporate advocacy, said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Any company that uses their Corporate Equality Index distinction as cover while working with fringe groups and bad actors does not reflect true LGBTQ+ allyship in the corporate space."

One of the groups Best Buy stopped donations to, to please conservatives, is The Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention efforts to LGBTQ youth.

Previously: Target to remove LGBTQ-themed merchandise from stores to appease conservatives