How The Airlines Fought Together To Ground Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill

Last Wednesday night, justice prevailed, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed businesses to invoke religion and deny service to openly gay patrons.

In the days before Brewer's veto, hundreds of companies appealed to the Governor, including several airlines.

Delta Air Lines issued this statement:

"As a global values-based company, Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, that would allow businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. If passed into law, these proposals would cause significant harm to many people and will result in job losses. They would also violate Delta's core values of mutual respect and dignity shared by our 80,000 employees worldwide and the 165 million customers we serve every year. Delta strongly opposes these measures and we join the business community in urging state officials to reject these proposals."

American Airlines / US Airways CEO Doug Parker wrote to Brewer:

"There is genuine concern throughout the business community that this bill, if signed into law, would jeopardize all that has been accomplished so far... Our economy thrives best when the doors of commerce are open to all."

US Airways is the largest carrier at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and enplaned over 845,000 passengers from the airport in December, 2013 according to the airport's information site.

How The Airlines Fought Together To Ground Arizona's Anti-Gay Bill

From Southwest Airlines, Phoenix's second-largest carrier, spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said: "

We believe in an inclusive environment that embraces and values each customer and employee. We could never support legislation that runs counter to our values of respect for each person and our strong nondiscrimination policy."

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden also wrote to Governor Brewer: "

This divisive law implies that all are not welcome, that diversity is not tolerated, and that a healthy business climate is an acceptable sacrifice to special interests. Regardless of its intent, will have a chilling effect on travel to Arizona and negatively impact the state's economy in other ways."

A passage of the Bill could have had a drastic impact on tourism for Arizona. In spite of how airlines are usually in competition over the customer dollar, it was refreshing to see them come together in agreement to benefit the common good.