Airlines Lead Charge Against Anti-LGBT Legislation in Arizona, Georgia, Bill Vetoed in One State

By Jeremy Del Nero on 26 February 2014
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An American Airlines 777-300ER in London

An American Airlines 777-300ER in London

Multiple airlines as well as other travel-related companies spoke out against legislation in two states that would allow business owners to openly discriminate against the LGBT population.

Last week, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would permit religious business owners to refuse service to members of the LGBT community.  The House voted 33 to 27 on the matter, and the legislation made it to the hands of Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who vetoed the bill late on Wednesday.  A nearly identical bill is now making its way through the state of Georgia’s House.

The bills have elicited a public outcry, a chorus that many corporations, including travel companies, are joining.  In official statements, Delta Air Lines and InterContinental Hotels Group stated their opposition to the legislation.  Executives from other travel companies, including American Airlines, Marriott, Starwood, Southwest Airlines, also expressed their concerns about the potential law in direct letters to Governor Brewer.

In a letter to the Arizona Governor on Monday, Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, wrote that the legislation “would jeopardize all that has been accomplished so far.”  Parker argued that the bill would not just be a step back in social justice, but economically as well.

Delta and IHG asserted that they have built their companies on values of equality diversity that welcome LGBT guests and employees.  “IHG has regularly voiced support for equal treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” the company said in a prepared statement.

A Delta spokesman said that the airline “strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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