CHICAGO, May 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
Supporting LGBT Employees
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.
LGBT Partnerships and Recognition
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.
United is honored to partner with leading LGBT groups, including the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Equality Illinois and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. The company also served as the official airline of the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland – the largest international sports and culture festival in the world open to all adults.
United has earned multiple honors for its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. The company was named a "Best Place to Work" by the Human Rights Campaign and achieved a 100-percent rating in the organization's 2015 Corporate Equality Index – the fourth consecutive year the airline garnered a perfect score from the prominent civil rights group. United also received the Business Leadership Award from Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest LGBT advocacy group, and has been recognized by Work Life Matters magazine as a leader for LGBT equality.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 373 airports across six continents. In 2014, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 138 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 34 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 and the 737-900ER. United is also welcoming 49 new Embraer E175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
SOURCE United Airlines