It appears as though Leisha Hailey is the newest celebrity to be tossed from a Southwest Airlines flight.
The musician and L Word actress was apparently kissing her girlfriend when approached by a flight attendant. A discussion ensued and the pair was asked to leave the plane.
Hailey then took to Twitter, asking fans to boycott Southwest. She believes she was kicked off the flight for being gay.
Southwest vehemently denies these allegations. The airline alleges that passengers had complained about the couple's "excessive" kissing, reports KTLA News. When asked to stop, the discussion between Leisha Hailey and a Southwest employee "escalated."
She was then escorted off the plane.
The couple has denied the airline's characterization of events. They describe the kiss as "a small peck on the lips," reports the Washington Post. They were also never told about the complaints.
If Leisha Hailey's depiction of the events is true, Southwest may have violated the law.
In a number of states, including California, sexual orientation discrimination is illegal. Even if customers complain, generally, a business cannot treat gays and lesbians differently. This may include asking them to stop kissing.
Southwest also has a history of unevenly applying its dress code and behavior policies. Last year, Kevin Smith was escorted off a plane for being too large. And earlier this month, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day was deplaned for wearing saggy pants.
If Leisha Hailey's Southwest experience doesn't prompt the company to standardize its policies, then these incidents will continue. And one day, they may lead to a lawsuit.
- Leisha Hailey escorted off Southwest jet after kissing girlfriend (Los Angeles Times)
- Denied e-Cigarette, LAX Passenger Assaults Attendant with Peanuts (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Baggy Pants Arrest for Football Player at SFO (FindLaw Blotter)