Does AAA Discriminate Against Gay Couples?

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Posted on May 13, 2009 - 3:33am by Anonymous.

Each year we get a slew of calls from people complaining that AAA refused to provide a family or associate membership to the callers partner. Often a few extra phone calls gets the matter resolved with the partner's name added but in recent years, it appears AAA (at least in Florida) has come down on the side of ignoring gay couples, even those who have been legally married elsewhere or have civil union or domestic partnership status.

FYI-AAA isn't a single entity. It is owned by a group of local / regional AAA clubs: AAA Northwest Ohio, AAA Mid-Atlantic, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, the Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA Oregon/Idaho, or Auto Club South and others. The boundaries of those clubs aren't always easily divined. For example AAA South is made up of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Puerto Rico and from what I can tell they have taken an increasingly hard line in rejecting the recognition of gay and lesbian couples.

As it turns out, the National HQ and AAA South are headquartered in Florida and we'd like to challenge the disrespect AAA is showing our families. I'm wondering if anyone else has done outreach to AAA or is interested in helping. Does your AAA have inclusive policies? For example it looks like the California AAAs have gay travel packets and outreach efforts.

So far the response of AAA South has been avoidance. We'd like to take this to the next level. Please let us know if you are interested in helping.

Nadine Smith
Executive Director

[email protected]


elaygee (not verified) says:

June 26, 2009 - 2:54pm

Here's a letter I sent to Debra D'Innocenzo and Mr. Terry Baker, 2 National Board members of AAA at [email protected] [email protected]

Dear Mr. Baker and Ms. D'Innocenzo,

Have you seen these complaints about how the 1.7 million Gay and Lesbian adults in Florida are being treated by AAA?

As National board members, you may have some say in this. That's a lot of current and potential members to be mistreating. We've been members over 27 years. If you are looking for a respectable organization to help you through this PR problem, Nadine Smith of the Florida Equality organization, who I copied on this email, can be of assistance on bring AAA South up to date on its non discrimination policies.

Regina (not verified) says:

May 27, 2009 - 1:44am

Maybe it is just my agent or agency, but I was never hesitant to discuss my family membership would include my partner, Lillian, and me. We live in Florida (always have). I have always had wonderful service, repectful and helpful suggestions, and wonderful discounts from them. They are the last people I would suspect of discrimination. Perhaps its just certain agents.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

May 25, 2009 - 5:54pm

My partner and I have had a AAA family membership for nearly 10 years. We have never experienced any discrimination, and we utilize their services quite often. My card has my name on it, and hers has her name on it, and our daughter's card has her name on it. All our last names are different, and we are obviously two adult females. On a family membership, I have never noticed them asking for relationship. Could these be isolated incidents, maybe certain agents or individuals?

Bryan and Bob (not verified) says:

May 24, 2009 - 4:01am

Hi, everyone. I have created a Facebook Group to help network folks on this matter.

Many people have had no problems; and many, such as myself, are still having problems.

It's now boiling down to who you speak with and whether or not they enforce the policy.

Sorta like the "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" policy.

Sorry, I am an activist for equal rights... I will NOT LIT for my equality! I will only earn it with a fight!

Venice, FL

Equality Florida (not verified) says:

May 18, 2009 - 7:06pm

Please help us spread the word on this blog post. The more stories we have the better.

Shaun McLain (not verified) says:

May 18, 2009 - 7:00pm

I tried to add my partner in AAA Florida some years back, but they refused. It sounds like most of the people who have been successful transferred from somewhere else.

John (not verified) says:

May 15, 2009 - 10:15pm

My Partner and I transferred our AAA membership from Arizona to Florida without any problems at all. AAA has been most helpful and professional in all aspects to us both.

Markus Parkus (not verified) says:

May 13, 2009 - 8:37pm

My partner and I had a family membership up in Philly, and they gave us no trouble down here in Florida doing the same...

Mike Shell (not verified) says:

May 13, 2009 - 5:06pm

This story doesn't match my own experience. I've been an AAA member since 1984. Sometime in the mid-1990s, while I still lived in Columbia, SC, I added my spouse Jim as a family member. They added him, no questions asked.

When we moved to Jacksonville, FL, in August of 2000, I went to the local Auto Club South office to transfer our memberships. The woman at the counter asked what Jim's relationship to me was. I told her, she entered our status as married, and we've continued to have a family membership since then.

Mike Shell

elaygee (not verified) says:

May 13, 2009 - 3:43pm


Carlos and I have been Florida AAA members since 2000 and New Jersey AAA members since 1982, both AAAs recognized us as a couple from the start, no matter what we asked for. We have a family membership and have used most of their services. I would think there might be employees who are making their own decisions, not with AAA's decision making process behind them.

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