A group of gay Air France stewards have started an online petition calling for gay cabin crew to be permitted to opt-out of the airline’s newly-reinstituted Iran service.
The petition, posted on Change.org last week, is addressed to Air France CEO Frédéric Gagey and French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies, is titled ‘Gay stewards from Air France don’t want to fly to the death penalty in Iran’. It calls for gays to be allowed opt-out of the Iran service due to the country’s notorious intolerance of homosexulity.
“Homosexuality is still illegal in the country,” the petition reads, noting that “punishment of homosexuals in Iran ranges between 74 lashes for a minor and the death penalty for adults”.
“Sure, our sexuality isn’t written on our passports and it doesn’t change the way we work as a crew,” writes petitioner ‘Laurent M’, “but it is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are.”
However, a member of Air France’s LGBT union told The Local.fr that the petiton isn’t supported by the union, citing the logistical difficulties of avoiding countries with anti-gay legislation.
“This is not an idea we support. We cannot have lists of people based on their sexuality. If gay stewards don’t want to fly to Iran, then there are around 20 other destinations where gay rights are not recognised that they would have to opt out of too.”
Air France is set to resume flights to Tehran this month after an 8-year hiatus due to sanctions, reports France24.
Last week the company released a controversial company-wide memo requesting that female staff “wear a head scarf and a wide and long garment to conceal their forms” upon arrival in Iran. Eventually the airline relented, allowing female staff the option to opt-out of flights to the country.
At the time of posting, the petition has garned 2619 signatures. You can sign it here.
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