Seattle Pride apologized to the airline after its gay and lesbian employee group was told they couldn’t march wearing any company gear.
Alaska Airlines and its 300 gay and lesbian employees can come back to the Seattle Pride parade. Apparently wearing whatever they want.
Seattle Pride, the nonprofit that runs the annual June parade, apologized Wednesday for telling the airline’s gay employee group that it couldn’t march in the parade wearing any T-shirts or clothing representing Alaska, due to an exclusive sponsorship deal with rival Delta.
The restrictions had caused the Alaska group to withdraw from the June 26 parade, as reported in my column Wednesday for The Seattle Times.
Seattle Pride, in a statement, said it had “misinterpreted the contractual obligations” of the deal with Delta. Pride President Eric Bennett apologized “for my miscommunication and any hurt feelings I caused,” adding that he hoped Alaska Airlines would “accept our invitation to proudly march in the parade, wearing whatever they wish, just as they have always done in the past.”
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It wasn’t clear Wednesday night whether Alaska’s employees would accept and come back, as they had already begun planning other events.
Seattle Pride began the day saying my column was wrong and that the parade had never set any restrictions on the Alaska group due to the Delta deal. But when presented with emails showing Pride did just that — that the deal with Delta prevented Alaska workers from wearing so much as an Eskimo logo — the nonprofit apologized.
“I wish to retract my statements made to the Alaska Airline Corporation with regards to participation in the 2016 Seattle Pride Parade,” Bennett wrote. “It was not my intention to exclude any groups or individuals, regardless of their company loyalties, employer, and group associations.”
Delta also said in a statement that it doesn’t mind if Alaska’s employees march, wearing as much Alaska swag as they want.
All’s well that ends well. How about the two airlines jointly build one giant airplane float and march together? Thereby proving the gay Pride Parade is actually about gay pride, not corporate marketing?
Come to think of it, it’s always been a dream of mine to be in the parade. Can I drive the float?