Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores - Now Serving Equality
October 5, 2010

Yesterday the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index was released, HRC's annual survey rates U.S. corporations on their non-discrimination policies and practices toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers.

Tennessee Equality Project is proud to congratulate a Tennessee based company whose rating increased 40 points over last year, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores.

A quote from page 8 of the report, which also lists Cracker Barrel as one of the twelve organizations who had an increase of 30 or greater:

"Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., once in the news for delivering pink slips justified by 'The employee is gay,' has implemented a non-discrimination policy and diversity training that includes sexual orientation and has even gone as far as to provide a cash grant to the Tennessee Equality Project."

Equality -
Now Being Served!

Cracker Barrel store
TEP is grateful for a generous gift from Cracker Barrel which is part of a broader strategy to bring friendly and accepting workplaces to Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and the corporate operations here in Tennessee. However, it is important to remember that the real winners here are the employees who are benefiting from the steps being taken to protect them.

On a personal note, as a former employee of both Cracker Barrel restaurants and the Home Office, I am overjoyed by this news.

While I was always evaluated strictly on my job performance and never felt I was treated differently because of my sexual orientation, I know there were employees who were not fully comfortable being themselves. It is my hope that this will bring to Cracker Barrel's LGBT employees a sense relief and the ability to share their true selves with their co-workers and friends.

As we work to develop and identify safe and friendly workplaces across the entire state, we applaud the efforts that have led to this wonderful increase in HRC's Corporate Equality Index Score for 2011.

The leadership shown by Cracker Barrel in standing up for the LGBT community should not go unnoticed. Many among us were aware of a very different history for the company; one that is now quickly becoming ancient history. To share your gratitude of Cracker Barrel's support, visit their website at

The full HRC's Corporate Equality Index Report is available here.

Cracker Barrel's actions are a step in the right direction for Tennessee, but we know other organizations still lag behind. If you have ever been subjected to discrimination in employment or housing on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, please contact me at


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