Taking Aim at United: Having Failed with American, Conservatives Target Another Airline

Article excerpt

First it was American Airlines. Now it's United. Will the religions right end up having to walk before its attacks are finally over? After targeting American Airlines for supposedly pro-gay policies, a coalition of religious conservative groups has turned its sights on United. In a three-page letter mailed to Gerald Greenwald, chairman of United's parent company, UAL, the conservatives blasted the company for lending "legitimacy to homosexual behavior, which is immoral, unhealthy, and destructive to individuals, families, and communities." The letter's list of signatories reads like a who's who of the religious right: Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Don Hodel of the Christian Coalition, and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with three others.

Part of the catalyst for the letter is United's increased outreach to the gay and lesbian market. The carrier has sponsored such events as last year's Gay and Lesbian Ski Week in Aspen, Colo., and PlanetOut's broadcast of President Clinton's address at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in November. But part of the reason for the letter was to express support for the airline in its tussle with San Francisco over domestic-partnership benefits. …