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American Airlines Backs Queer Inclusion, But Is It Enough?


American Airlines prides itself on its inclusion and have made great strides in including queer employees in their mix: they’re the first airline to include gender identity in their internal non-discrimination policy. That said, it come as no surprise that the aviation company announced they support non-discrimination legislation for sexuality and gender identity.

Their announcement, however, doesn’t come without its own baggage.

Pledging their support to equality, American Airlines released a press release backing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

“(We are) proud to express our strong support of federal workplace non-discrimination legislation that would extend basic job protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. We are proud to have been the first major airline to implement same-sex domestic partner benefits, first to implement both sexual orientation and gender identity in our workplace non-discrimination policies, and first to have a recognized LGBT employee resource group – GLEAM.

“Our endorsement of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is consistent with our longstanding Statement of Equal Opportunity … The principles fostered by ENDA are consistent with our corporate principles in treating all employees with fairness and respect. On behalf of our more than 80,000 employees, we appreciate your consideration and encourage Congress to enact this important legislation.”

Though certainly a step in the right direction, trans activists may have something to say about this, because ENDA does not currently include gender identity, but simply sexuality. It’s great that American Airlines supports their queer employees and wants to do more for the rest of the nation, but if it really wanted to make a mark, the company could have come out against ENDA and instead said they’re pushing for gender inclusive legislation.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Sep 29, 2008
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 4 Comments
    • David
      David

      Lots or people, gay, straight and companies are for ENDA. While we recognize its not perfect, we also recognize it is groundbreaking and historical. AA should be aplauded for its support.

      Sep 29, 2008 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dizzyspins
      dizzyspins

      By being so gay-inclusive, American Airlines is running the risk of boycotts from the religious right. I think its a bit much to ask a commercial company to step up and fight for inclusive governmental legislation. What they should do is what they are doing: making their own policies egalitarian.

      Sep 29, 2008 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan

      A major step in the right direction. Coming from a pragmatical perspective, I am wholly satisfied with their efforts for now.

      Sep 29, 2008 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kurt
      kurt

      The real question to ask American Airlines is have they included glbt protections in the collective bargaining agreement with their employees or is it just a “company policy.” The later, of course, is totally non-enforcable and offers no real protections to an employee.

      Sep 30, 2008 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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