Press

Task Force Commend Airline for Keeping the American Way

Date: 
March 20, 1997

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) commends American Airlines for its commitment to quality service for all customers, including gays and lesbians, and urges activists around the country to stand up for the American way.

The airline company has come under attack by Radical Right groups like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America because of its sponsorship of gay pride events as well as its support of several gay organizations. The conservative groups label the airline company's friendliness as an open endorsement of homosexuality. For the past several days, the airline's switchboards have been deluged with callers demanding that American put an end to its gay-friendly policies. Radical Right leaders have also blasted the carrier for going beyond "mere tolerance" for gays and lesbians, in a letter to airline executives.

"Our community has got to show our allies that we stand behind them when they're on the battlefield," said Kerry Lobel, Task Force Executive Director. American Airlines is a major sponsor of many national gay organizations including NGLTF. The company offers discounted fares to those traveling to many gay-sponsored events around the country. American is also the first airline to adopt a written non-discrimination in employment policy that covers sexual orientation.

"We need more major companies and industry leaders to come out for fair and equitable treatment of all," Lobel stated. "If we don't show support for the companies that do get it, our demands that others put themselves on the line become weakened," she added. The Task Force urges activists and supporters of what is fair and equitable, to call, write or email American Airlines to commend them and write to their local newspapers and national magazines and let them know that the airline company has done the right thing. Tell them that you believe in the American way.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.