LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A lesbian actress who starred in the Showtime cable show “The L Word” says she was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing a woman, after the flight attendant deemed their public display of affection “excessive.”

Leisha Hailey took to Twitter to call for a boycott of the carrier after a she was told that other passengers had complained after witnessing the affection.

Hailey has tweeted several messages since Monday’s incident:

Did I mention to @SouthwestAir that I have a lot of their actions recorded on audio and video? RT #boycottSouthwest #discrimination

I know plenty of wonderful same sex families I would like to introduce them to. Boycott @SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don’t like us.

Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as “family”.

We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable.

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.

Southwest Airlines released the following statement:

“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 actress and her partner, Camila Grey, denied in a statement released Tuesday that the affection they showed toward each other was inappropriate.

The incident has resulted in a national media spotlight for the actress, who now is a part of the electro-pop duo Uh Huh Her.

The band released the following statement Tuesday:

“We have always promoted tolerance, openness and equality both as a band and as individuals. We both come from loving homes where our parents not only love and accept us, but are also proud of who we are. We believe everyone has the right to live openly in this society as equals. 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 5 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 it’s 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.”

Hailey and Gray said they plan to file a formal complaint with the airline.

Comments (23)
  1. Reason says:

    an actress wanting more attention than she already gets…..SHOCKING!

  2. Rick says:

    She is just bitter. She cannot be doing all that well if she is flying Southwest
    Not to mention getting kicked off. I have heard that Greyhound is very tolerant

    1. Jerry King says:

      LMAO!!! How great is it she is on Southwest with all the common people. Not exactly burning up hollywood huh lol.

  3. Jerry King says:

    I just want to gag! Not because 2 chicks were kissing which is totally HOT!!! But because her girlfriend is such a dog! Put her in the kennel Leisha!!! Wow certainly not the real life L Word.

  4. Al says:

    OK. I’m confused. They kick off one guy (who happens to be a Hollywood director) for being to fat. I tend to remember a couple of years ago they told someone that they were basically ‘under-dressed’. Now they kick off an actress for excessive kissing?!?! Who appointed Southwest as society’s morals police?

    If Southwest truly believes that they are really responsible for the “comfort of all customers on board”, why don’t you start with the following:
    (a) more frequent flights, rather than cutting back like you have over the years.
    (b) more space between seats, instead of making customers who are taller than 5’6″ or so sit for hours with their knees around their ears.
    (c) make the seats wider, so customers with hips wider than 24″ can sit without having their kidneys crushed into their spines.

    Start with implementing those suggestions, and maybe then you can claim the moral grounds as the conduct police. Otherwise, just fly the damn planes and get the passangers to their destinations somewhere close to on time . . .

  5. Jet says:

    Yet they let a guy fly in drag a couple of months ago…and kick of someone for low jeans…guess if you dont fit their perfect passenger profile, they are going to kick you off the plane…

  6. fox mulder says:

    GOOD FOR THE AIRLINES…..this is exactly why people post neg. things about gays when something comes up on line. It’s called pushing it in your face and you can’t do anything about it. AGAIN…most people really don’t care if you’re gay but don’t want to know about it either…if you feel like you need a make out session, do it at home or in a motel. I don’t want to see straight people in a lip lock session either…a quik kiss in public is one thing but try to make a point is another

  7. KeithS says:

    I can almost agree with Rush Limbaugh on this one-Okay, so gays want to have the same rights as heteros and display affections in public.Fine with me. But sometimes it seems they want to “force it” down our throats(okay, fill in your best pun joke here).

    Although I do not like the guy, he is right-it is like sometimes gays go out of the way to do things in public they know people do not like as a way to send that message “you gotta love us, you gotta love us.” If these two were indeed being “excessive” as Southwest claims then most likely they were doing nothing but once again looking for attention and p*ssing people off so they can get their point across. Sounds obnoxious to me. They are getting like these bicyclists that cry for rights so much, they go out of their way to break traffic laws and make drivers uncomfortable to garner some sort of warped sympathy.

  8. Joel Lanuza says:

    The airline did the right thing. If customers felt uncomfortable when their behavior they have to right to escort them out. This was beyond just a simple kiss. This has nothing to do with sexual orientation. If you wanna make out with someone the airplane is not the best place, have respect for others.

  9. ray says:

    PDA is inapropriate NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE anything more then hand holding in a public place is wrong in my view save the kissing and more for when your alone. this is how i see it when i kiss my wife i want to hug my wife when i hug my wife i want to touch my wife and so on so i save all that activity for when we are alone and can do EXACTLY as we please. it may not be against the law to kiss and such in public but it is surely not needed if i was on a plane and saw any couple regardless of gender kissing i would complain i dont need to watch anyone doing what belongs in the pvcy of their home

  10. Conrad says:

    It is important for me to watch the video of the two girls kissing before I make a judgement on this.

  11. Puhleezuh! says:

    This was obviously calculated provocation that had nothing to do with affection.

    She puts a chip on her shoulder and cries when it gets knocked off…Then hides like a weasel behind “boo-hoo, it was just affection!”

    Yeah right…what are you, 5 years old?

    Very pathetic to say the least.

    It’s people like this that hurt their cause more than help…She thinks she’s noble yet in everyone else thinks she’s an idiot.

    Learn what is generally acceptable in society and respect it…You don’t have to agree with it, but you must respect it. She knew the cost of not doing so and is crying over having to pay price.

    I have nothing against gays…Only dumb ones.

  12. Reason says:

    highly doubt it was just a peck on the lips as is being stated. We’d have to be idiots to believe that – as airlines with people reuniting all over the place brings about all sorts of “casual” affection like that – among same and different sexes.
    Every gay person knows that people are going to be more sensitive about their public affection in general – like it or not – no laws are going to change that right now
    If ANYTHING she should be taking issue with the persons on the plane that had an issue with this – cause if someone on the airplane didnt like her for being gay, and ,for instance said she mentioned having a bomb, no one would question her getting kicked off the plane – and the issue would be with the accuser. So how do we not know the person accusing DID insist that she was showing extreme sexual behavior in public? Southwest may have been under one impression – and in this day and age – post 9-11 – problems on planes are dealt with quickly. BUT, she is taking issue with Southwest cause it gives her the biggest voice to push her agenda about gay discrimination. lame.

  13. Stevve says:

    She has to be kidding. Most of Southwest’s gate agents and flight attendants ARE gay.

  14. Yvette says:

    I personally don’t enjoy watching people slob each other down right in front of me. It makes me uncomfortable and it doesn’t matter if they’re gay or straight. I don’t care about nor need to be a part of your make out scene , especially if it’s over the top.

    When flying to Atlanta a few months ago there were 3 tacky females popping gum from the time we took off to the time we got there. Delta did nothing about it I had to buy earphones for myself and my son. It was annoying as hell and even though the woman next to me asked them to stop they kept on. People have no respect for other people. It’s up to the staff to do something. Good for Southwest!

  15. Wain says:

    To be fair to the lesb0s, regarding the intensity of kissing that took place. I would prefer to see a reenactment by Jackie Johnson and Evelyn Taft.

  16. Reason says:

    Stevve, you have made the best comment yet – I fly Southwest all the time and what you said is absolutely true. A point I didnt even think of.

    People in close quarters with a whole bunch of other complete strangers from all walks of life need to consider their behavior if they expect to have no problems – and if this happens to be an airplane – the issue of safety comes into play – and there is no time to think hard about the details – if theres a problem developing, it needs to be quelled before it becomes a bigger problem and details will be sorted out later. I DO think a refund should be issued. But thats it.
    This is ridiculous otherwise and she is giving a bad name to her cause. No surprise shes an actress- large sense of importance or entitlement anyone? She doesnt even consider that this is how its going to come across to most.

    She needs to take her gay acceptance battle elsewhere where it really matters. Many gay people are ACTUALLY violently dealt with for just being who they are. She was kicked off a plane for what passengers considered too much PDA. Could have happened to heterosexuals too. Get over yourself Leisha. The Murmurs weren’t that great and the cover of White Rabbit was lame.

  17. Fern says:

    They needed a room not plane seats!!! LOL

  18. mike in san diego says:

    Wow!! Hollywood actress’ flying on Southwest? What? You cute little series that no one watches got canceled? Take a lesson from Kim K; wait, you already did. Selfless promotion.

  19. clam bumping says:

    this story gives me a chubby.

  20. mark says:

    my wife and i got married here in Ca. then flew southwest to el paso to do another small cerimony for her elderly grand parents who were not in good enough health to come to Ca. as we sat in the plane waiting to taxi i leaned over and kissed my new bride the attendant politely told us that PDA is not accepted on their flights because they deem it inappropriate in a family enviornment AND THEY ARE RIGHT my hormons over ran my common sence kissing as we all know is a sexual act and as such should not be done in a public venue so GOOD WORK SOUTHWEST their rules are their rules if you do not like them take a diffrent flight but they DO NOT apply their rules only to one group and not the other

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