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GLAAD Contacting Southwest Airlines After L Word Star Speaks Out

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Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

September 26, 2011

New York, NY, September 26, 2011 - GLAAD tonight contacted Southwest Airlines after lesbian actress Leisha Hailey, of The L Word, claimed she was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight after she kissed her girlfriend.

"I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir," Hailey tweeted. "Flt. attendant said that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not ok."

Southwest issued a statement late this afternoon:
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 expectation.

Tonight, GLAAD’s Senior Director of Programs Herndon Graddick continued to reach out to Southwest:
"GLAAD contacted Southwest to call for additional actions beyond tonight's statement that ensure all customers feel comfortable and welcomed while traveling," said Graddick.

Additional information will be posted at www.glaad.org.