National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Backs Partnership, Calls for Consultations

NGLCC Calls Out Gulf Carriers for Discriminatory Labor Practices

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2015) – Today, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) announced its support for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. The NGLCC is joining a diverse and growing group of organizations in calling on the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to address the massive subsidies they have provided to their government-owned airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates.

NGLCC is the nation’s leading voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender business community and an advocate for expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people.

“The members of the LGBT business community that we represent support fair competition in the marketplace, as well as the fair treatment of individuals in the workplace,” said Justin Nelson, Co-founder and President of NGLCC. “It’s time for the U.S. government to stand up for the American aviation industry and address the Gulf carrier subsidies that are creating an unequal playing field – and propping up airlines that have discriminatory employment practices that are damaging to the LGBT community.”

Over the last decade, Qatar and the UAE have funneled $42 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits to their state-owned airlines in violation of U.S. Open Skies policy. The NGLCC joins 262 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, more than 30 mayors across the country, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and dozens of local business, trade and economic groups in urging the U.S. government to act.

“We are proud to have the NGLCC support us in calling on the U.S. government to address the unfair subsidies that the Gulf carriers receive,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesman for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “Their support shows that the unfair competition by the government-subsidized Gulf carriers poses an economic threat, not just to the U.S. airlines and their employees, but to Americans everywhere, regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation.”