FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 23, 2009
The National Center for Lesbian Rights Applauds AAA South for Providing Equal Services to Same-Sex Couples
Business pledges family memberships to married same-sex couples after meeting with Equality Florida
(St. Petersburg, Florida, July 23, 2009) — Yesterday, famed auto club AAA South, the fourth largest AAA affiliate in the country, committed to recognizing all spouses, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, in company policies and services. The policy now allows married same-sex couples to receive spousal discounts under AAA’s Associate Membership program. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds AAA South for treating LGBT members equally and hails the advocacy work of Equality Florida, which brought the issue to the attention of AAA South.
“We are delighted to see AAA South join the growing number of companies nationwide who are proactively recognizing couples in same-sex relationships for an array of benefits and services,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of NCLR. “This is a major advance for equality and fairness. As the number of married same-sex couples grows, more and more companies are including those couples in existing policies that provide spousal discounts and benefits. We applaud AAA South for taking this sensible step and agreeing to treat all customers and families equally.”
Equality Florida launched conversations with AAA several months ago after receiving calls from married same-sex couples who had been denied family memberships. AAA South management says it will take approximately two weeks to train 3,000 staff members to uniformly implement the policy. AAA South has more than four million members in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.
Same-sex couples applying for a membership need only state that they are married to receive the family benefit. Management also left the door open to expand the policy to include domestic partners — LGBT and straight.
AAA has supported NCLR for nearly a decade as one of the organization’s top corporate sponsors.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.