Alliance Defending Freedom’s Jeremy Tedesco recently took to the pages of Townhall to shed light on the leftward march of the corporate world – and chart a path for how companies can break free.

Recent P.R. and financial losses taken on by Anheuser-Busch, Target, and the L.A. Dodgers prove that the American public is tiring of divisive messaging from household brands. Still, Tedesco writes, companies continue to march left because of their reliance on powerful asset managers like Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street, which in turn look to ideological tallies by groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

“In order to earn the stamp of approval from these powerful shareholders, companies participate in scoring systems created by left-wing organizations who set the agenda for how they respond to cultural issues,” Tedesco writes. “These organizations require complete fealty – with no room to question the methods or demands and no forgiveness if you deviate even a little from their program.”

As Tedesco points out, the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index started with comparatively moderate demands like nondiscrimination policies and inclusive healthcare benefits, but they’ve continued to ratchet up the pressure on companies to adopt fringe positions. For example, the HRC now requires that companies cover harmful cross-sex hormones and irreversible puberty blockers for employee dependents—including minors—even though most Americans strongly oppose such interventions.

“HRC is demanding that companies stake out one of the most extreme positions on one of the most controversial and polarizing topics of the day,” Tedesco writes. “Put another way, they are demanding that each company risk becoming the next Anheuser-Busch.”

According to Tedesco, the HRC does not care about businesses’ success – it only cares that they do its political bidding.

“HRC makes very clear that there is no room for dissent, even if the group’s agenda tarnishes a company’s brand and destroys its profits.”

So what’s the solution?

Rather than acceding to activists’ demands or blindly pursuing a political ideology, Tedesco concludes, corporate leaders should “work for the good of their employees, customers, and shareholders by scaling back their political activism and cultivating respect for diverse religious and political views,” both internally and externally.

Tedesco concludes by pointing to ADF’s Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index to correct course and avoid taking divisive stands on hot-button political issues.

“ADF doesn’t demand that companies weigh in [on] its side of the cultural issues of the day. Instead, … this framework encourages companies to simply respect people’s freedom to speak their mind and to live according to their conscience.”

Read the whole article here.