Southwest issues follow-up statement on Leisha Hailey incident

The Internet is out at the house (screw you, AT&T), so I’m attempting to post this from my phone (wish me luck). Below is a follow-up statement from Southwest Airlines regarding Monday’s incident involving Leisha Hailey. Note that the statement says the incident occurred in El Paso, as opposed to St. Louis, as previously reported. I can’t post the link here, but what is it about El Paso and same-sex kissing? Anyhow below is the statement. I’ll try to get more when I’m back on the grid in the a.m.

Updated Information Regarding Customers Removed from Flight 2274

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. We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.

Our tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our Customers and Employees—including those in the LGBT communities—anchor our Culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule. 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.

Our Customer Advocacy Team reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for an experience that fell short of the passengers’ expectation.

—  John Wright

Marketing pitch: If you don’t fly somewhere and get married, more gay kids will commit suicide

Some may recall that in the wake of 9/11, the marketing folks seemed to be pushing the message that everyone in America should go out and buy stuff because, otherwise, “the terrorists win.”

We were reminded of this Wednesday evening when we received a press release from a company that provides “full-service destination weddings.” The company, which has offices in Dallas, announced in the press release that it’s expanding its focus to include the LGBT community.

And that’s great, but we were a little turned off by this quote in the press release from one of the company’s executives:

“… We support the idea that marriage creates stable, committed unions. We believe that everyone must be supported in building stable, empowering, and respectful relationships. In light of the recent trends of gay teen suicide and bullying happening in the U.S., where most of our clients reside, it is our obligation to demonstrate that happy, committed relationships do exist and are possible for everyone. By providing a flawless destination wedding experience to our couples, we can do just that. … ”

—  John Wright