Over the weekend, the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, received a fair amount of flak for publicly supporting gay marriage. He had written in his personal capacity to Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnball, making the case for marriage equality.
But that didn’t go down so well with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who told a group from his Liberal Party: “If Alan Joyce or any other CEO wants to campaign on this or any other issue in their own time and own their own dime — good luck to them,”
“But don’t do it in the official capacity and with shareholders’ money. And certainly don’t use an iconic brand and the might of a multi-billion dollar business on issues best left to the judgment of individuals and decision makers.”
The stinging rebuke came after Joyce signed an open letter, along with 33 other business leaders posted on the Equalitycampaign.org.au website. In their letter, the influential bosses came out as supporting marriage equality and urged PM Turnball and his government to get it’s act together.
“The majority of Australians and MPs support this reform. We ask the Australian Parliament to deliver civil marriage equality for every Australian so that our nation can move forward as a more inclusive place to live, work and play,” the letter read.
Thank you @qantas and its CEO Alan Joyce for supporting same-sex marriage here in Australia. One day I will be able to walk down the aisle holding the hands of my two sons to get married to the love of my life. This will become a reality because of your support. Qantas has already been part of our dream to become parents. Just last year in September we left LA with our two month twin boys and arrived home to Sydney where our new lives would begin. We were anxious on this journey home, but were welcomed with open arms by the beautiful Qantas flight attendants. We dream of a future where our relationship is treated equally to all others, and our boys are never forced to question or defend their parents' relationship. #qantas #marriageequality #thankyou #equality #lgbtpride #gaydads #gayfamily #gaylove #familygoals #relationshipgoals #love #happiness #frequentflyer #modernfamily #gay#rainbowfamily
It pointed out that two-thirds of Australians support marriage equality and over 1,000 Australian businesses have already signed a letter of support for marriage equality.
As the leader of Australia’s flagship airline, Joyce has now gone one step further and said that Qantas supports marriage equality. Pointing out that Qantas already supports gender equality and the rights of Indigenous people. He said Qantas “was pleased to include marriage equality on the list.”
“Qantas’ identity is the Spirit of Australia, and one of the most fundamental values in this country is the notion of a fair go.”
“Qantas is one of 200 Australian companies that has publicly pledged support for marriage equality because we don’t think some people should have fewer rights than others.”
As an Australian household name, Qantas argues it has an important part to play in the community. And on this topic, it isn’t going to back down.