Delta and SkyWest may be sued for anti-gay discrimination


Today in STUPID PR TRICKS, we feature the formerly friendly folks at SkyWest and Delta Airlines, who refuse to offer the same travel benefits to gay, married employees as those enjoyed by straight, married employees. To wit:

“In a six-page letter to the airlines, attorney Tara L. Borelli, with Lambda Legal, contends her client, Gilbert Caldwell, and his spouse, the Rev. David Farrell, are enduring employment discrimination due to a SkyWest travel policy that refuses to extend its benefits to same-sex spouses ‘while heterosexual employees’ spouses are fully respected automatically.’ The Oct. 29 letter is the first step before formally suing SkyWest and Delta, Borelli said Friday.’ In this incident, they are refusing to treat Gilbert in the same way as they do married, heterosexual couples,’ added Borelli, a Lambda Legal staff attorney in Los Angeles. ‘They should be providing travel benefits on equal terms.’ … Officials with SkyWest and Delta Airlines did not return multiple phone messages on Thursday and Friday seeking comment.” [DesertSun via Towleroad]

So, class, why is that stupid?

A) It just is.

B) If Delta and SkyWest maintain their discriminatory policy, and if Caldwell and Farrell are indeed legally married in California, and if the couple move forward with their suit, Delta and SkyWest probably won’t fare too well. Sounds expensive.

C) No matter which way things go for Caldwell and Farrell, the two companies’ PR teams ought to get out in front of the conflamma and control the message. If you’ve ever had to do damage control duty before, you know it’s neither pretty nor pleasant.

D) We’re gays. We’re brand agnostic. We’re happy to boycott.

E) Delta and SkyWest surely employ hundreds if not thousands of gays and lesbians. Why piss off such a chunk (and a vocal chunk at that) of the workforce? Not the best morale-building exercise.

F) The world only spins forward. Delta and SkyWest can either be at the leading edge of the civil rights movement, or they can play George Wallace. My suggestion? Well, things didn’t turn out so good for George Wallace, did they?

0 thoughts on “Delta and SkyWest may be sued for anti-gay discrimination

  1. bcnesp

    Well, one of the few things I'm proud of my company for is the domestic partner benefits they voluntarily began offering several years ago – in fact, I think we were the first of the big US based carriers to do so…now if we could only fix that little issue of CEO bonuses.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.