WASHINGTON, DC—This morning, PFLAGers woke to the sad news of the passing of Arne Sorenson. As president and CEO of Marriott International, Sorenson steered the company to a path of inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQ+ people. In 2015, PFLAG honored Marriott International with the “Straight for Equality in the Workplace Award.” Sorenson’s leadership has also earned honors from Diversity Inc., the Human Rights Campaign, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National says:
“We lost a champion yesterday. For my community—the LGBTQ+ community—he was a beacon of inclusion, and personally, there was no kinder man. You could see his kindness in the culture he created globally at Marriott, whose policies embraced and protected everyone, from travel guests to Marriott associates everywhere.
“In 2015, when Arne Sorenson accepted PFLAG’s Straight for Equality in the Workplace award on Marriott’s behalf, he made the case that only the leader of an organization as large and influential as Marriott could about corporate America’s role in achieving equality. He spoke out from our stage against Indiana’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, calling it ‘idiocy,’ and ‘just plain wrong.’ He firmly stated that he and Marriott as a whole would not stand for it, and they did not.
“Now, years later, marriage is the law of the land, and now we are working to pass the Equality Act, to address the issues that marriage could not fix. We would be missing a significant part of the story if we didn’t acknowledge the role that corporate America has played in our progress, progress that would never have happened without vocal, unflinching, and authentic leaders like Arne Sorenson.
“PFLAG’s thoughts are with the Sorenson family, his Marriott International family, and all who knew and loved him.”
PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 250,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. To learn more, visit pflag.org, like us on Facebook (/pflag), or follow us on Twitter (@pflag) or Instagram.