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?