Carnival Corporation Earns Perfect Score in Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index

MIAMI, Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that it has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) with a perfect score in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates U.S. companies on their treatment of LGBTQ consumers, investors and employees.

This is also the third consecutive year that HRC – the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the U.S. – named Carnival Corporation among the top companies and recognized it as a best place to work for LGBTQ equality, acknowledging the company’s efforts to be fully inclusive.

“A perfect score from the HRC is a major achievement and reflects our efforts to promote a positive work environment that respects people from all walks of life,” said Jerry Montgomery, chief human resources officer for Carnival Corporation. “To be recognized by the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the country underscores that our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming company has never been stronger.”

Carnival Corporation’s 2020 sustainability goals include a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce and providing all employees with a positive work environment and opportunities to build a rewarding career to further drive employee engagement.

The company has also shown its support of LGBTQ equality and inclusion through:  

  • Offering welcoming environments with LGBTQ cruises, onboard activities and special events, including hosting the 2015 Director’s Circle Summer Luncheon for the Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses on Holland America Line;
  • Participating in the Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce coalition to end LGBTQ discrimination in the state’s businesses; and
  • Partnering with equal opportunity champions such as the Human Rights Campaign

“At Carnival Corporation, all of our 10 cruise line brands have unique cultures that reflect the diversity of their employees, guests and suppliers,” said Montgomery. “Our ability to be competitive, foster innovation and thrive globally is in part a result of our diversity and our belief that diversity of thinking plays an important role in our success and passion to provide our guests with great cruise vacations.”

Available online, the CEI has been the nation’s preeminent benchmarking tool for LGBTQ equality in the workplace since 2002. This year, the top score was awarded on the basis of detailed criteria in five key categories: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, responsible corporate citizenship and demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion.

9 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A GAY CRUISE

Going on a cruise is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing vacations you can take. The options are limitless ranging from the Mediterranean and Caribbean to the Baltic Sea or even Alaska. Of course the latter will be lacking sun and warm weather and it’s probably not the most gay-friendly option you could choose. So why not consider taking an all-gay cruise? You can opt for a small ship with a more intimate feel or take one of the more popular large boats with companies like Atlantis or RSVP. For the ladies, Olivia is the major player and all 3 companies have been around for 20 years or more. So if you’ve never thought about taking a gay cruise, here are 9 reasons that just might convince you.

Friendly and Social Atmosphere

One great aspect of taking a gay cruise is that most of the guests are friendly and open to meeting new people. On a straight cruise, guests come with friends or family and already have a social group established. On a gay cruise, there are many activities that help connect guests and give you a chance to meet new people.

Options for All: Singles, Couples and Friends

Another benefit on a gay cruise is the amount of different activities that take place on the ship. When we went on our Atlantis cruise a few years back, there were even events geared towards couples and singles. Couples could meet other couples and enjoy a meal together and singles could meet other singles and quickly make new friends.

– See more at: http://lgbtfeed.com/post/reasons_why_you_should_take_a_gay_cruise#GCC

Source: 9 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A GAY CRUISE

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Gay marriage ban costs Michigan tourism industry, says LGBT market researcher | MLive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — There are 37 states with marriage equality and the fact that Michigan isn’t one of them hurts the tourism industry’s bottom line, said a market researcher at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism this week.

“Whatever percentage of Michigan’s business now is weddings, it could be increased by including LGBTs. Certainly within the state but those who have family here, etc. I think that there’s a lot of opportunity,” said Thomas Roth, president of San Francisco-based Community Marketing, Inc.

He presented a session at the conference, making the business case to hotels interested in marketing to LGBT people.

In a September 2014 survey CMI conducted, they asked 3,503 members of the LGBT community about their travel habits.

No Michigan cities ranked in a top 20 list of leisure destinations for gay and bisexual men. No Michigan cities ranked in the top 20 for lesbian and bisexual women, either.

Wedding travel aside, Michigan is missing out on general LGBT leisure travel due to its marriage prohibition, Roth said.

“So it’s a double-edged sword because on one hand you’re not getting that (wedding) business. On the other hand gays and lesbians are probably not coming here for holiday or vacation as much as they would because it’s not an inclusive state when there’s 37 other choices, right?” Roth said.

via Gay marriage ban costs Michigan tourism industry, says LGBT market researcher | MLive.com.

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Mike Pence Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, and the Indiana Boycott Begins – Bloomberg Politics

The boycott is on.

Within hours of signing the so-called “Religious Freedom Bill” into law in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence learned that there would be a price to pay for enacting what critics say is a brazenly anti-gay piece of legislation. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced that the the San Francisco-based company would cancel all travel to Indiana, effective immediately.

via Mike Pence Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, and the Indiana Boycott Begins – Bloomberg Politics.

Indiana Defines Stupidity as Religion – The New Yorker

INDIANAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—In a history-making decision, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has signed into law a bill that officially recognizes stupidity as a religion.

Pence said that he hoped the law would protect millions of state residents “who, like me, have been practicing this religion passionately for years.”

via Indiana Defines Stupidity as Religion – The New Yorker.

The business case against Indiana’s religious act

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law on Thursday morning the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a political move business leaders within the state had voiced fierce opposition to in the days surrounding the Indiana legislature’s passage of the bill on Monday and it being sent to the governor for his signature.

The new law allows businesses to use an owner’s faith as a reason to refuse service to customers, including same-sex married couples. The risks from the act range from potential workplace lawsuits on religious grounds to a broader and deeper business chill in the Hoosier State, with money-making conferences and major corporations threatening to pull out, difficulty attracting key job creators like tech sector companies and a wide-ranging ripple effect on small-business owners.

The governor’s move comes during a sensitive period of time for Indiana’s economy—it has shown signs of a small-business boom in recent years, and has fared relatively well in job creation and new-company formation, but is also seeking to break out from the sluggish growth that has typified the post-crisis economic recovery

via The business case against Indiana’s religious act.

Atlantis Cruises: These are NOT your grandma’s cruises – WeHo News

Combining all the elements of a luxury liner, with a schedule of activities designed for today’s modern gay traveler, a ten day Atlantis cruise of the Mediterranean is definitely NOT your grandma’s cruise. An all-gay cruise is what you make of it. Whether you are traveling as a couple, alone or with a group of friends, the team at Atlantis Events  makes a point of scheduling “something for everyone” and truly living up to their catch phase… “The Way We Play!” Starting with the welcoming boarding bear hug by their omni-present and effervescent cruise director Malcolm, all of this is clearly evident. Yes, there are still the usual hour by hour activities one would find on the Celebrity Equinox  (the ship used in this adventure) such as outdoor spin classes, yoga instructions, table tennis, basketball court shooting, lawn games, the ever-popular bingo, feature films playing in the theater and so much more. But Atlantis Events doesn’t just rest on the laurels of the Celebrity cruise team.  They supplement and even replace much of the standard programming with those oh-so-gay delights including Classic Disco Sunset T-Dances, gay comedians night from Pam Ann, to London based drag impersonator Charlie Hides, a concert with superstar pop and dance diva Deborah Cox, and themed dance parties on deck, under the stars, every night until sunrise. 

via WeHo News | Arts and Entertainment.

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Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers : NPR

A recent Chevrolet ad made its LGBT-friendly message clear: Against a montage of different families, including single and same-sex parents, a voice-over intones, “While what it means to be family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like has.”

Of course, it’s not entirely new for mainstream brands to participate in gay pride parades or advertise in LGBT media. But as Gay Pride Month comes to an end, ads like this drive home the fact the last year has seen a sharp uptick in gay representation in mainstream ad campaigns. And these new ads, like Chevy’s “The New Us,” don’t rely on the coded messages of earlier gay-oriented ads.

The history of gay people in advertising isn’t that long. Rich Ferraro, vice president of communications at GLAAD (an LGBT organization that watches the media), says back in the ’80s brands like Bud Light and Absolut Vodka were among the first to include the LGBT community in their advertising.

It was “mainly spirit brands marketing directly to gay men at the time,” Ferraro says. “You saw images running in gay magazines or at gay events that featured a lot of shirtless white guys on beaches, or drag queens, and played up on stereotypes of the community.

Ferraro says this was before the Internet or social media, so brands didn’t have to be as afraid of a backlash.

Then in the 1990s, as society changed, brands started testing the waters with coded ads.

Robert Klara, a staff writer for Adweek, compares it to a two-way mirror: The ads contained messages that straight audiences would miss, but gay audiences would pick up on.

via Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers : NPR.

STUDY: What’s the Most Gay-Friendly Brand? | Advocate.com

After surveying thousands of LGBT consumers around the country, brand-tracking company BrandIndex has announced the most gay-friendly brand, according to how customers perceive the company: This year’s top honor goes to discount warehouse store Costco. Last year Costco was on the list at number 14.

YouGov’s BrandIndex tracks real-time feedback, discussion, and social media buzz for individual brands and once a year compiles a top 100 ranking of the best brands, broken down by audience and market sector. Other top-ranking brands for LGBT consumers include Netflix, Panera Bread, Trader Joe’s, and YouTube rounding out the top five.

According to BrandIndex, companies were scored based on how LGBT people responded to the question, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

Based on the positive and negative reviews, each company was then scored between 100 and -100, allowing BrandIndex to account for substantial shifts in public perception.

via STUDY: What’s the Most Gay-Friendly Brand? | Advocate.com.

The Forecast In Florida: Dark Days Ahead For Gay Hotels – GayCities Blog

uesthouses in South Florida: is it a sign of changing times in the industry? One of America’s most famous, or perhaps infamous, gay spots is for sale, and others are (gasp!) going mainstream to attract a broader clientele.

The biggest shake-up comes from Key West, with the news that Island House in Key West is now for sale, less than a year after the death of co-owner Martin Kay.

Joe Allen, who still owns the resort currently, opened Island House in 1976 with Kay. Allen sent an email to his entire mailing list that included the following:

“I think I can say without boast that we created at Island House a unique place, a safe and happy space for thousands of gay men to meet, to eat and drink, to make merry. I’m proud of that, but more important in this context, Island House is successful and profitable operation. I’m confident that its new owner will operate it as a gay men’s resort. It has higher ADR’s and occupancy than any comparable property in Old Town. There’s no good reason to change its model. It’s a success,” wrote Allen.

Island House has become the focal point for much of Key West’s LGBT community, as other smaller resorts on the island have become mainstream guesthouses. The restaurant is a popular meeting place for locals to have breakfast, and drag shows by the pool are common (as is sex on the upper outdoor deck and in the hotel’s porn theater).

This sale comes at a critical time for Florida’s LGBT travel industry. Despite Allen’s belief that it should stay a gay-themed property, its location on Duval St. makes it a prime target for real estate developers looking to capitalize on Key West’s ever-escalating market. More importantly, the gay guesthouse industry is on a slow downward spiral, as loyal customers continue to age and younger patrons aren’t coming in.

via The Forecast In Florida: Dark Days Ahead For Gay Hotels – GayCities Blog.

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