United Airlines Shows Pride by Speaking Out on Marriage Equality
United (NYSE: UAL) and its employees will commemorate LGBT Pride Month this June by marching in parades, sponsoring events and hosting celebrations at destinations across the airline’s global route network. But more than the festivities, the company is marking this historic Pride Month – one in which the U.S. Supreme Court may rule on the issue of same-sex marriage – by reaffirming its support for marriage equality.
United’s Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Smisek issued the following statement: «United Airlines is proud to stand up for marriage equality in the United States. At United, we foster an inclusive and diverse culture, where every employee is accepted, valued, respected and treated fairly. While fully inclusive equal employment, workplace benefits and non-discrimination policies have been part of our company’s culture for many years, it is time for our nation to have a uniform marriage rule that gives equal dignity to same-sex couples. With this historic Supreme Court decision on the horizon, we encourage all of corporate America to join United Airlines on the right side of this debate.»
The airline in March also joined hundreds of other U.S. corporations by signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to support same-sex marriage. Throughout the month of June, United employees will take part in Pride festivals and parades in five of the airline’s hub markets – Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York City and San Francisco. The company will also host celebrations for customers and employees in Chicago; Denver; Houston; Newark, New Jersey; and San Francisco, as well as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
To advance United’s goals for diversity and inclusion, the airline also sponsors several 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, such as Judy Shepard of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. During June, the group is organizing volunteer activities for United employees and sponsoring popular Chicago Pride Week festivities, including Proud to Run, an annual 10K and 5K race that raises funds to support the city’s LGBT community.
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.