American, United, and Delta Airlines have all been big supporters of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) community and have supported their GLBT employees and customers and have even received perfect 100s on the Human Right Campaign Corporate Equality Index. The airlines have ran promotions for Pride, supported Pride, had employees partake in Pride events, and more. American Airlines social media even went gay for pride month!
On June 26, 2015 when SCOTUS ruled in favor of Bourke and legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states in teh Bourke vs Beshear case, all three major US Airlines released press statements applauding the decision.
“This is a historic moment for our country and for many of American’s employees,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “Today’s decision reaffirms the commitment of companies like American that recognize equality is good for business and society as a whole.”
Earlier this year, American joined a broad coalition of U.S. corporations to support marriage equality in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. American also joined dozens of large companies to pledge that “Equality is Our Business,” signing a public statement led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) seeking to get businesses and organizations to stand up for diversity.
American has a long history of supporting the LGBT community in the course of doing business. Underscoring this strong commitment, American is recognized by the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a nationally recognized benchmark that distinguishes top workplaces for their inclusion of LGBT employees and their allies. American was the only airline to receive a perfect score when the CEI launched in 2002, and is one of only a handful of corporations to do so every year since.
American’s Pride Employee Business Resource Group, which was the airline’s first employee resource group, continues to champion LGBT travelers and advocate for diversity, equality and respect within the airline industry as it has for decades. American is also a proud member and supporter of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, PFLAG, Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign.
For more information on American’s commitment to diversity and the LGBT community, visit aa.com/diversity.
“Today’s historic ruling is a long-awaited victory for all those who chose to take a stand for marriage equality, and we applaud the Supreme Court for affording same-sex couples the respect and dignity they deserve under the law. At United, we foster an inclusive culture where employees are accepted, valued and treated fairly, and we remain committed to proudly serving the diverse customers who fly with us.”
In March, United joined hundreds of other U.S. corporations in signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to support same-sex marriage.
Supporting LGBT Employees
Fully inclusive equal employment, workplace benefits and non-discrimination policies are core to United’s Working Together culture. The airline offers several programs that promote LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) inclusion and awareness, and it sponsors internal business resource groups that celebrate employees’ cultural differences, cultivate diverse talent and contribute to the company’s performance.
United’s LGBT business resource group, known as EQUAL, is one of the company’s fastest growing and is expanding to several of the airline’s hub cities. EQUAL provides ongoing networking, advocacy and outreach opportunities for members, and has hosted prominent figures within the LGBT community.
LGBT Partnerships and Recognition
United has long supported programs and organizations that share the company’s commitment to equality in the workplace and the community. These important relationships help the airline foster LGBT awareness, create valuable opportunities to educate employees and give the company a powerful voice on issues impacting diverse businesses.
United is honored to partner with leading LGBT groups, including the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Equality Illinois and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. The company also served as the official airline of the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland – the largest international sports and culture festival in the world open to all adults.
United has earned multiple honors for its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. The company was named a “Best Place to Work” by the Human Rights Campaign and achieved a 100-percent rating in the organization’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index – the fourth consecutive year the airline garnered a perfect score from the prominent civil rights group. United also received the Business Leadership Award from Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest LGBT advocacy group, and has been recognized by Work Life Matters magazine as a leader for LGBT equality.
Delta is a long-time supporter of gay rights. So it was with great enthusiasm that CEO Richard Anderson greeted the news today that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled marriage bans are not constitutional, overturning all bans and declaring same-sex couples can wed in the U.S.“As a global airline that celebrates the diversity of our employees and customers, Delta has been a longstanding supporter of gay rights and we applaud the Supreme Court’s decision today to ensure the fundamental right to marriage for everyone,” he said.Delta is among hundreds of companies that have signed legal briefs urging the Supreme Court to strike down laws banning same-sex marriage.“This is a historic day in the civil rights journey of our country. Delta’s same sex couples in loving, committed relationships can now enjoy the same benefits of marriage as opposite sex couples, regardless of which state they call home,” said Brian Smith, President of the Delta Employee Equality Network. “Today I have renewed pride as an American citizen as the supreme court of our land demonstrated that inclusion, not exclusion, is humanity’s truth. Delta has long demonstrated this truth by its commitment to a culture of inclusion.”For more than a decade, Delta has provided benefits and privileges to same-sex spouses and same-sex domestic partners of its U.S.-based employees, including health benefits, optional insurances, survivor income and pass travel.Since Sept. 26, 2013, in conjunction with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, Delta recognized and implemented equal spousal benefits for those who are legally married from a federal perspective – regardless of which state the employee lives in.Delta’s support of gay couples was underscored again earlier this year by its decision to become the first major airline to cover tax costs associated with same-sex domestic partner healthcare benefits. The tax is a problem for employees living in states, such as Georgia, that do not recognize same-sex marriages. Delta employees in these states have to pay extra taxes based on the value of the insurance. About 40 other major companies nationwide offer similar benefits to same-sex couples, advocates say.“Delta is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion for all our people,” said Greg Tahvonen, Vice President – Total Rewards and Global HR. “It is a key theme of Rules of the Road (Delta’s statement of core values) and something that makes our company stronger and more vibrant, and better able to serve our diverse customers throughout the globe. Today, we are pleased with the court’s decision to fully legalize same-sex marriage in all states and jurisdictions. As a result of this decision, Delta will be able to provide an equitable benefits package to all Delta people.”In the next few weeks, Delta will communicate directly to impacted employees to inform them of the impact of the court ruling.For years, Delta and its employees have continued to build and expand its strong relationship with the LGBT community around the world. Delta has a longstanding tradition of celebrating regional Pride events in cities nationwide including Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City and Seattle. This year the airline is supporting six events, including events this weekend in New York, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Seattle.In 2010 and 2011, the company was designated as one of the Human Rights Campaign’s “Best Places To Work” for LGBT employees, and it continues to earn near-perfect scores on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.Earlier this month, Anderson spoke to a group of 70 employees at an event organized by Delta Employee Equality Network.“The law should be that we’re equal regardless of who we love in this life,” Anderson said. “That shouldn’t be a question – that should be a fundamental right. At Delta, we always try to be a leader and are very clear about our support. I believe the tide is really powerful right now and I’m optimistic for what’s to come.”