The L Word actress Leisha Hailey made headlines Monday when she was booted from a Southwest flight for allegedly being affectionate to an "excessive" degree with her same-sex partner. The airline was quick to issue a statement following a backlash of outrage from the public, but after further investigating the matter, Southwest holds firm to their initial decision to remove the couple from the plane in El Paso.
Published Tuesday to their company website, Southwest clarified their employee's decision to confront the couple as a follow-up to passengers' complaint of "loud profanity."
The revised statement reads:
"Additional reports from our Employees and Customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers. At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin. Although we have reports of what Customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft."
In response to accusations they discriminated against the actress and her girlfriend Camila Grey, Southwest asserts they "do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason." In the couple's unique case "their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft."
To conclude, the airline rejected the notion they were bigoted, emphasizing their "celebration of diversity."
"The more than 100 million people who fly Southwest each year reflect the great diversity of our country and our Company - and ALL are valued and welcome. In fact, we've been recognized as a leader in diversity throughout our 40 years of service."
Hailey and her partner maintain they will file a formal complaint with Southwest in the hope that "when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve."