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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 30, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 39
Lesbian kiss leads to actress and her girlfriend getting kicked off Southwest flight
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Lesbian kiss leads to actress and her girlfriend getting kicked off Southwest flight

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Leisha Hailey, a Lesbian actress who starred in the hugely popular Showtime cable show The L Word, said she was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her partner, Camila Grey. The airline said the pair drew customer complaints.

An angry Leisha took her story to the Twitterverse on Monday to call for a boycott of the carrier after a flight attendant told the woman that other passengers had complained after witnessing the affection.

'I have been discriminated against,' tweeted Leisha. 'Since when is showing affection to someone you love illegal?'

Southwest Airlines Co. responded on its website with a four-sentence response: '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.'

A discussion followed on the flight, which turned into an argument, and, according to the airline, it 'escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground.'

The actress and her unidentified girlfriend were on a flight from Baltimore to St. Louis. The kissing occurred in the air and a discussion followed when the plane landed, but details of how the couple was escorted off the flight were not included in the Southwest statement.

Leisha says the encounter between the couple and a flight attendant was recorded.

Southwest's website says it is the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at GLAAD, said in an email that 'GLAAD contacted Southwest to call for additional actions beyond tonight's statement that ensure all customers feel comfortable and welcomed while traveling.'

This isn't the first time that airline has been in trouble with a celebrity - or thrown one off a flight, for that matter. Earlier this month, the Dallas-based airline kicked off Green Day's lead man Billie Joe Armstrong for wearing his pants too low. The Grammy winner was escorted off a plane after failing to follow a flight attendant's directive to pull the pants up.

Southwest also removed director Kevin Smith from a flight last year because he didn't fit properly in a single seat. His first tweet read, 'Dear @SouthwestAir - I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?'

Leisha is preparing to launch a 21-city tour with Uh Huh Her, a band she is the front woman for, to promote breast cancer awareness. One of the band's songs was included in the 2010 movie The Kids Are All Right.

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