On June 11 and 12, Toyota was one of the sponsors of LA Pride, one of the biggest LGBTQ+ events in the United States, with more than 400 thousand annual visitors. Weeks before, however, the Japanese automaker, in a list compiled by the data for progress group, was shown to be the largest corporate donor for politicians against sexual diversity in the country. In the list, this group identified several companies that finance politicians who opposed the passing of the “Law of Equality”, a federal law which, if approved by the American Senate, would prevent discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation.
According to the Date for Progress, Toyota and its franchisees contributed around $601,500 in anti-LGBTQ+ donations between 2019 and March 2022. Most of this money came from the Toyota Gulf States Inc., an independent distributor of vehicles of the automaker, who gave $580 thousand to Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas.
Recently, this Republican Party politician did not only oppose the law,but also officially ordered that state authorities investigate gender affirmation surgeries for trans youth as child abuse. The same group of franchisees also gave $15 thousand to the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, who was earlier this year criticized for saying that Austin Pride -an event similar to LA Pride in the Texan city – is violating the state law sex.
Toyota denies financial participation in donations
The Toyota subsidiary in the US, TNMA (Toyota North America Engine) stated that all the contributions mentioned in the list were made by franchises in which they don’t have any participation, and that they don’t influence or control how the franchises manage their donations.