Leisha Hailey, an openly gay musician and actress best known for her role on the “L Word,” said she was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend.
“I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. [Flight] attendant said that it was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok,” Hailey tweeted Tuesday. “This is an outrage. I demand a public apology ... and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline.”
In a statement, Southwest said that kissing was part of the reason Hailey and were removed from the flight. It seems to be the amount of affection — and the couple’s reaction to being approached by the crew — that’s in question:
“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 are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectation.”
The couple denied that they went overboard with their affection. “I didn’t realize a small peck on the lips is regarded as excessive and never once did your stewardess mention other passengers,” the women said on their band Uh Huh Her’s Twitter.They have called for a boycott of the airline.
No other passengers from the flight have offered a version of the events yet.
Southwest, which is the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), has experienced a string of bad PR events involving celebrities.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was asked to leave a Southwest flight because his pants sagged too low. Director Kevin Smith was asked to leave another of the airline’s flights last year because he was too obese for the seat.
Southwest apologized in both of those instances.
Read all of Hailey’s tweets about the incident below.
This post has been updated.