Lesbian actress Leisha Hailey has responded to remarks made by Southwest Airlines officials, suggesting she and her partner were kicked off a plane for an "excessive" public display of affection.
The L Word star demanded an apology from airline bosses after she was kicked off a flight on Monday (26Sep11), claiming she was asked to leave the plane for simply kissing her partner, Camila Grey, onboard.
In a series of posts on her Twitter.com page, she raged, "I have been discriminated against by SouthwestAir. Flt (Flight) attendant said that it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not ok.
"This is an outrage. I demand a public apology by SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline. We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable."
Southwest bosses were quick to address the controversy, admitting Hailey was asked to leave the flight - but only after other passengers complained about her "excessive" behaviour.
Now, Hailey has responded in a statement given to WENN, insisting the fracas was over nothing more than "a modest kiss".
She writes, "In no way were our actions on Southwest Airlines excessive, inappropriate or vulgar. We want to make it clear we were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves; it was one, modest kiss.
"We are responsible adult women who walk through the world with dignity. We were simply being affectionate like any normal couple. We were on the airplane less than five minutes when all was said and done. We take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant after being told it was a 'family airline'.
"We were never told the reason the flight attendant approached us, we were only scolded that we 'needed to be aware that Southwest Airlines was a family oriented airline'. No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn't make it any less loud. You can't whisper hate. We ask this airline to teach their employees to not discriminate against any couple, ever, regardless of their own beliefs.
"We want to live in a society where if your loved one leans over to give you an innocent kiss on an airplane it's not labeled as 'excessive or not family oriented' by a corporation and its employees. We find it very disturbing that the same airline who lauds itself as being Lgbt (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) friendly has twisted an upsetting incident that happened into our behaviour being 'too excessive'."
Hailey reveals she is in the process of filing "a formal complaint with the airline".