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Taxpayer-Funded Amtrak Launches 'Ride With Pride' Campaign to Attract Gay Customers


"...diversity is not just a corporate buzzword, it's a priority."

While instances of outrage -- and support-- continue to rage for the fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, Amtrak is also capturing some attention for its "Ride With Pride" initiative, a new campaign aimed at gay customers. While homosexual rights groups are already praising the targeted efforts, some conservatives will likely express disdain and concern, seeing as the company is tax-payer funded and clearly taking a stance on the issue.

To fully push the efforts, special ads that show same-sex couples riding the train system have been released by Amtrak, as has a gay-friendly web-site encouraging individuals to head to popular vacation destinations. So far, two ads have been released -- one showcasing two mothers and the other featuring two fathers (each featuring a child).

The purpose of the ads is to promote the company's half-price campaign for kids between the ages of two and 15, The Huffington Post reports (this deal is free for all children, not only those of same-sex couples).

In a section of Amtrak's "Ride With Pride" web site, a "diversity" tab brings readers to an explanation of the special campaign -- and of the company's views on inclusiveness. In summation: Amtrak wants to create a discrimination-free environment.

Below, watch a fascinating CNN debate about the appropriateness of a government-owned company taking such pointed action on a controversial social issue:

"At Amtrak, diversity is not just a corporate buzzword, it's a priority. It's vital and it's a commitment we make to our customers, our suppliers, our employees, and the communities we serve," the diversity statement reads, in part. "We understand that valuing diversity is not only a good thing to do, but a business necessity beyond compliance that plays a vital role in customer service delivery and ultimately the success of our operations."

Naturally, because Amtrak is a publicly-funded company (in fact, it's fully owned by the U.S. government), it's likely that these ads -- and the overarching campaign -- will create some controversy.

Also, it should be noted that, at the top left of the site, a news feed featuring Huffington Post articles is featured, causing one to wonder why this was chosen as the most viable news choice on the government-owned site.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section, below.

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