alan joyce qantas
Alan Joyce, CEO of Quantas looks on during the panel discussion on climate change goals at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has released a statement saying that companies should express a view on social issues. In the statement, he confirmed his support for gender and marriage equality.

Joyce said that a company's first responsibility was to its shareholders. It was also a company's responsibility to deliver sustainable returns on its shareholders' investment. He said that the relationship between a company and its shareholders does not only focus on the economic transaction but also on implicit social contract.

The airline's CEO cited that the company's works have supported the community including charity flights for drought relief and awareness raising for homelessness. He added that the company has transported volunteer firefighters around the country and he testified that a lot of companies were doing similar things that Qantas did.

He said that one of Qantas' most fundamental values is the same as Australia's values which is the notion of a fair go. The fundamental values and the airline's identity -- Spirit of Australia, were the reasons why Qantas speaks up gender equality. He said that the company has recognised the Indigenous people. He added that marriage equality would be included to the list as time goes on.

"Qantas is one of 200 Australian companies that has publicly pledged support for marriage equality because we don’t think some people should have fewer rights than others," Joyce said. He said that the company was comfortable with their position as polls showed that majority of the Australian community shared the same belief.

On Friday, immigration minister Peter Dutton fired up during a radio interview because of the same-sex marriage proposals of the companies in Australia. He reminded business leaders that they should not involve themselves on morale issues. They were advised to focus on running the economy and tax reformation. “If they want to run for politics; well you know resign from their position, stick their hand up at the next election, but don’t jam your politically correct views down our throats. I think there needs to be, frankly, a shot across their bow at the moment,” Dutton told Hadley during the 2GB interview.

There were 20 business leaders including Qantas Optus, Apple and Holden who would urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to bring marriage equality. The business leaders drafted a letter stating that married couples, regardless of sexual orientation, could contribute to a stronger economy and to a more inclusive Australia. The business leaders believed that marriage equality could give an impression of corporate social responsibility which could attract foreign investors.