Delta Airlines: Oppose Discriminatory Legislation in Georgia

Richard H Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines

For the second year in a row, the Georgia General Assembly has introduced legislation-- HB 218 and SB 129-- that would allow citizens, corporations, and privately-owned businesses to discriminate on the basis of their “strongly held religious beliefs.” The bills, though intended to target LGBTQ residents of the state, could potentially lead to unsafe situations for a wide range of individuals, including women, children, religious minorities, communities of color, or anyone else who an individual might want to target for discrimination. 

Similar legislation was introduced in 2014, but failed to pass due to widespread opposition from the business community in Georgia, including Delta Airlines, the state's largest private employer. Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta and the previous chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, spoke out publicly against the bill, recognizing the negative impact of such legislation on the state. A statement put out by Delta Airlines at the time read, "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."

This year however, Mr. Anderson and other business leaders have chosen to stay on the sidelines, and have so far stayed relatively silent on the issue. As these bills advance through the Georgia General Assembly, we need to push CEOs like Rich Anderson to use their influence under the Gold Dome to stand up against this harmful legislation. 

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To: Richard H Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines
From: [Your Name]

We urge you to do more to prevent "Religious Freedom" legislation from passing in Georgia. These harmful bills open the door to discrimination against Georgians, making Georgia unsafe for LGBTQ residents, as well as religious minorities and people of color.

Last year, under your lead, Delta Airlines was instrumental in stopping these bills from becoming the law of the land in Georgia. As the state's largest private employer, Delta Airlines has a responsibility to it's employees, customers, and the citizens of Georgia to do everything in their power to object to these bills.

In the past, your company has shown a commitment to civil rights in the South, by investing over $1 million in the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and sponsoring the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma taking place this weekend. While we value this commitment, we must do more to ensure that the civil rights of ALL Georgians remain intact.

Please take a stand against these bills, and use your influence to urge other business leaders to do the same.