Southwest Airlines Sparks Outcry After Kicking 'L Word' Actress Off Flight for Kissing Girlfriend

7:21 PM PST 09/26/2011 by THR staff
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Kevin Smith, Sophia Bush and Sandra Bernhard are among those weighing in on the incident involving Leisha Hailey and her longtime girlfriend.

The news that The L Word actress Leisha Hailey had been kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight -- for what she claimed was a result of her kissing her girlfriend -- sparked an outcry on the Internet Monday.

In a series of tweets, Hailey wrote that she and fashion designer Nina Garduno, who have been together since 2006, "were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue."

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

Meanwhile, a SWA rep did reach out to Hailey via Twitter.

"I'm so sorry!" read a tweet from SWA's account. "Can you please follow/DM [direct message] me more details so we can get to the bottom of this? Thanks!"

Kevin Smith, who was kicked off a SWA flight in February 2010, which he claimed was because he was too large to fit in a single seat, retweeted a message that read: "Via @brett0929 'you see @leisha_hailey's trouble w/ @SouthwestAir? booted for kissing her girlfriend.' Sounds like a case of Too Fab to Fly."

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who earlier this month tweeted that he was escorted off a SWA aircraft for wearing sagging pants, has yet to weigh in on the incident.

STORY: 'L Word' Actress Leisha Hailey Tweets She Was Kicked Off Southwest Airlines Flight After Kissing Girlfriend

But the news did spark an outcry online, where many criticized the airline. Several in Hollywood, THR readers and other followers of the news were divided in their reactions to the incident, which sparks passionate responses on Twitter, Facebook and the comments section of THR.com.

Among them:

One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush (via Twitter)
Dear @SouthwestAir you seriously told @Leisha_Hailey that she could not kiss her GF on the plane & escorted them off? I see straight couples kissing on planes all the time. Is discrimination a standard part of your policy? How sad, ignorant, and disgusting. #LostCustomer #NOH8

Comedian Sandra Bernhard (via Twitter)
this is a hoot @leisha_hailey @uhhuhhermusic Southwest Airlines The LUV Airline! the 'luv' airline. what kind of 'luv' are ya talkin bout?

Jeff Ting (via THR.com)
And that is why ignorance runs wild on America these days.  Thank you for proving us right.

STORY: Kevin Smith Drops 65 Lbs After Airline Incident

Ray Ebersole (via Twitter)
#Southwest Airlines has to be the worst run company in the world. "L-Word star kicked off flight for kissing girlfriend"

maileibailey (via Twitter)
for instance: if enough people on board complained about my face being excessively scary would i get kicked off the plane?

Laura Gentry (Via Twitter)
Why is this still happening? RT @unicornbooty L Word Actress Leisha Hailey Kicked Off Plane for Kissing Girlfriend

bkoppe (via Twitter)
Read that @Leisha_Hailey was kicked off @SouthwestAir 4 kissing her girlfriend,that's 1 less airline 4 me 2 consider flying on

Emil Caillaux (via Twitter)
Ridiculous, in this day and age.

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Tyler Hanley (via Twitter)
Starting to really get disgusted with Southwest Airlines after they kicked off an actress for kissing her girlfriend. SW=Intolerance.

Stacwad (via Twitter)
Shame on you @SouthwestAir

Among those on the other side of the spectrum:

Jessica Hokama (via Facebook)
I'm sorry, but while I would be disgusted if someone were kicked off a plane for being homosexual, I don't think that is what happened here. I think that 2 people were acting inappropriately and showing excessive PDA in an airplane and regardless of gender or sexuality, I think any 2 people would be kicked off the plane. I could easily see a straight couple also being escorted off the plane for this. I have never once in many, many times of flying, ever seen 2 people making out on a plane, out in the open, in their seats. And it also sounds like they asked them to stop going overboard on the PDA and then they themselves escalated it to a fight and didn't stop with the behavior. If for some reason I were making out on a plane and they asked me to stop, I would apologize and be embarrassed, not continue and then pick a fight...I really think these women were in the wrong in this situation.

Joey Cosentino (via Facebook)
Overtly public displays of affection aren't cool by any standards. Some things are personal and should be left behind closed doors whether gay or straight.

Kishkeyum (via THR.com)
I'll support Southwest. People need to keep private activity private. It's not everyone else's business. Besides, she was kicked off for getting upset and carrying on about it, not for the kiss itself.

STORY: Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Kicked Off Flight for Sagging Pants

Mike Burns (via THR.com)
Has no one any manners or decorum. Gross public displays of affection like this are over the top for any two people regardless of their orientation. Get a room next time slobs.

gb94577 (via THR.com)
Maybe swapping spit with her girl friend is something the parents of straight children don't want to see. Hailey should understand that if she didn't want to attract attention.......or did she and got it?  Deal with it Hailey and realize you may like the same sex, but the person next to you doesn't. Respect their rights. There no less important than your own.

Kari Osman (via THR.com)
Finally!!!  I am sick and tired of the minority offending the majority and then screaming discrimination.  I will support Southwest Airlines for standing up for decency for a change.

Paul (via THR.com)
"Hate is not a family value." Sorry, but neither is homosexuality.

overthecoastline (via THR.com)
Score another one for Southwest.  They were also the airline that kicked off the Green Day tard for wearing pants below his buttcrack.   It's about time someone starts to shame society back into acting decent and mannerly, since people obviously can no longer police themselves. Could a respectful, well-mannered, well-dressed society occur again?  It sure seems to be starting on Southwest Airlines.  I will be booking my next flight with them.

Lynai (via THR.com)
I have a hard time believe this was a simple peck on the cheek or even a quick smooch, if SWA had to ask them to stop, then it was going on long enough to be noticed and acted upon. Decent people, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual should conduct themselves accordingly, and neither one should be making out on an airline or a subway or any other place in public, are they hormonal teenagers here?? I dont think so. You act like a child you get treated like a child regardless of your sexual preferance. Tired of people pushing the victim card as an excuse for their behavior.

Tammyinlalaland (via Twitter)
@THR I loathe discrimination but excessive PDAs are not ok either; if straights are booted for it too, then I support @SouthwestAir in it

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