‘L-Word’ Star Escorted Off Plane For Kissing Girlfriend: Is Showing Affection Illegal?
Smooching on a plane isn’t illegal, is it? The L-Word actress Leisha Hailey found out the hard way that while it may not be illegal, it surely has its consequences. The lesbian actress said she kissed her [unidentified] girlfriend – and got escorted off her Southwest Airlines flight because of it.
Leisha and her girlfriend were on a Southwest flight from Baltimore to St. Louis on Monday. The kiss happened mid-air and the discussion followed when the plane landed.
She then took to Twitter after the incident, calling a boycott of the airline after a flight attendant told them other passengers complained after witnessing the kiss.
She tweeted the following to tell what happened:
“I have been discriminated against by
@SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a “family” airline and kissing was not ok.”
This is an outrage. I demand a public apology by
@SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline.
We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue.
@SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable.
Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as “family”.
I know plenty of wonderful same sex families I would like to introduce them to. Boycott
@SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don’t like us.”
Leisha also recalled Southwest’s previous incidents with movie director Kevin Smith, who was escorted off a plane for being too large for a single seat and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrongwho got booted for wearing pants that were deemed “too saggy.”
Southwest commented on the matter, saying, “The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight.”
The airline also posted this message via a link on Twitter:
Southwest’s website says that it’s the official airline of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
*Update: Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey have put out the following statement today:
“We have always promoted tolerance, openness and equality both as a band and as individuals. We both come from loving homes where our parents not only love and accept us, but are also proud of who we are. We believe everyone has the right to live openly in this society as equals. In no way were our actions on Southwest Airlines excessive, inappropriate or vulgar. We want to make it clear we were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves, it was one, modest kiss. We are responsible adult women who walk through the world with dignity. We were simply being affectionate like any normal couple. We were on the airplane less than 5 minutes when all was said and done. We take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant after being told it was a “family airline.” We were never told the reason the flight attendant approached us, we were only scolded that we “needed to be aware that Southwest Airlines was a family oriented airline.” No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn’t make it any less loud. You can’t whisper hate. We ask this airline to teach their employees to not discriminate against any couple, ever, regardless of their own beliefs. We want to live in a society where if your loved one leans over to give you an innocent kiss on an airplane it’s not labeled as “excessive or not family oriented” by a corporation and it’s employees. We find it very disturbing that the same airline who lauds itself as being LGBT friendly has twisted an upsetting incident that happened into our behavior being “too excessive.” The above is not an apology and we are in the process of filing a formal complaint with the airline. We hope that when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve.”
Do you think Leisha and her girlfriend really were discriminated against by Southwest, or do you think there’s more to the story than they’re letting on? Who’s in the wrong here? Post your thoughts in the comments!