Leisha Hailey responds to Southwest Air: 'You can't whisper hate'

leisha-hailey.jpg"The L Word" actress Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend, Camila Grey, were removed from a Southwest Air flight after responding to what they felt were homophobic actions on the part of a flight attendant.

Southwest Air claims that they received complaints from passengers about Hailey and Grey's "excessive" public display of affection. Hailey, in a statement, says, "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 5 minutes when all was said and done."

After they were asked to keep the "family friendly" nature of the flight in mind, the women became understandably upset. "We take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant after being told it was a 'family airline,'" they say. "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."

Southwest has a special LGBT-friendly outreach program for gay travelers, which is advertised on their website. Hailey isn't buying it. "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 friendly has twisted an upsetting incident that happened into our behavior being 'too excessive.' The above is not an apology and we are in the process of filing a formal complaint with the airline. We hope that when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve."

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