By Zack Jenkins
‘Priceless family moments are now affordable’ and welcomed publicly on Amtrak, the train and bus transportation system with over 500 locations and more than 30 trains routes in the United States and Canada.
This week, Amtrak debuted a new set of ads targeting the niche market of LGBT travelers, celebrating same-sex partnered passengers in the new “Ride With Pride” campaign.
The company commented on their website, “At Amtrak, diversity is not just a corporate buzzword, it’s a priority.”
Digital ads for the LGBT community direct users to a specifically gay-friendly site that features discount vacation packages for popular destinations as well as discounts for children between the ages of 2 and 15 traveling with an adult.
In 2010 there was some outcry against Amtrak for alleged “discriminatory WiFi settings.” The public network censored an LGBT blog, TheNewGay.net, for “explicit content,” even though the website was not pornography.
After site viewers publicly called for Amtrak to change its discriminatory settings, Mark Mastro, Amtrak’s Marketing Communication Specialist, responded publicly by stating, “The issue you experienced is due to a technical glitch and not due to any social policies adopted by the company. The accepting environment and social policies adopted within Amtrak allow me to be 100% open about my sexuality without any fears of repercussions. We hope to have the problem rectified soon, and although there will always be the occasional site that slips through our fingers, we promise to be vigilant in continuing to monitor the situation.”
The release of Amtrak’s Ride With Pride ads coincided with “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in which thousands of patrons supported the fast food chain following controversial statements made by the chain president who confirmed his company’s anti-gay stance, though it is unlikely that the same release date was intentional.
Amtrak is yet another national company to support same-sex couples in recent months. For straight parents and gay parents alike, Amtrak encourages families to “Enjoy the Journey.”