Since it's likely that very few people commenting on the Blend have actually done the Corporate Equality Index survey for their company — or even know the difference between HRC, the political arm and the HRC Foundation, the 501c3 education & resource arm — would anyone like to ask me about the CEI? I've been submitting the survey on behalf of my company (Fortune top 10) since the beginning.
One of the misconceptions floating around is that the CEI tracks political donations — it doesn't. There is a section on marketing, philanthropy and community engagement, but there is (as of yet) no standard criteria around political donations.
The CEI is first and foremost a way of rating how businesses treat their employees — what are the policies & practices regarding non-discrimination (sexual orientation and gender identity), benefits programs (partnership benefits, transgender wellness coverage, etc.), diversity & inclusion (training, employee resource groups, etc.), other rating elements include whether or not the company targets employment recruiting in the LGBT community, markets its products in a respectful & LBGT-inclusive manner, etc..
The CEI started out as just a few questions — but now is a huge exercise because the standards keep evolving higher. Many companies that currently sit at 100% will drop after 2011 because they don't cover a transgender health benefits, for example.
I'm not with HRC, so don't flame… but if you have specific questions about the CEI that I can answer, I will try to do so.