Entertainment

Leisha Hailey: 'Kicked Off Southwest Airlines for Being Gay'

| by Michael Allen

Actress Leisha Hailey, who appears on the lesbian-themed television show 'The L-Word,' claims that she was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight because she is gay.

She is also a member of electro-pop band Uh Huh Her and tweeted about the ordeal on the band's Twitter page: "I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a "family" airline and kissing was not ok."

Hailey called for a boycott of the airline, and claimed that she has video and audio recordings of the incident.

Southwest released an official statement on their company blog: "Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight."

"We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectations."

Hailey tweeted in response: "@SouthwestAir I didn't realize a small peck on the lips is regarded as excessive and never once did your stewardess mention other passengers."

Southwest makes specific claims of being an LGBT-friendly airline on their company web site:
"At Southwest Airlines, we take pride in our outreach and commitment to the GLBT community. We have community partnerships with a variety of local and national organizations who are dedicated to GLBT causes and initiatives."

According to the site, Southwest is the official airline of advocacy groups such as GLAAD, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

GLAAD has not taken a public stance on the ordeal, but issued a brief statement: "GLAAD contacted Southwest to call for additional actions beyond tonight's statement that ensure all customers feel comfortable and welcomed while traveling."

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