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

Openly Lesbian Australian MP Who Once Opposed Gay Marriage Now Comes Out In Support Of It

Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong, Australia's very first openly gay cabinet member, has gotten much heat from the LGBT community for her opposition of gay marriage. Looks like Wong is now personally in full support of marriage equality:

Wong The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Senator Wong has been criticised in the past for putting her role as a cabinet minster ahead of her personal views and declining to support gay marriage.

At the state conference, she said she knew what it was like to be the subject of prejudice.

''I have had the opportunity to advocate for equality at the highest levels of our party and within our party processes, as I do today,'' she said. ''And I will do so at the next national conference. Talking about change is not the same as delivering it.''

The motion means South Australia and Northern Territory Labor branches have both changed policy in recent weeks to support gay marriage.

Alex Greenwich of the Australian Marriage Equality points out the significance of her announcement: "Senator Wong's public support for reform will not only make a difference when the issue is debated at the Labor national conference – it also reinforces the message to the Australian public that gay Australians are united in our desire for full legal equality."

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

In PA, GOP Senate candidate Toomey is even opposed to Hate Crimes law

We’d like to think that candidates have moved beyond the debate about hate crimes. I mean, you really have to sink pretty low to oppose the hate crimes law, right? In 2009, the Senate voted by a lopside margin 63 – 28 to end the filibuster of the Matthew Shepard Act.

But, we’re not past that debate. Nope. The right wing GOPer running for Senate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, proudly proclaimed his opposition to the Matthew Shepard Act. Via Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post:

The issue of hate crimes legislation is the latest debate in the U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania, with Republican Pat Toomey reiterating his 2004 position against such measures to a local news station this week.

“I think it’s a bad idea for government to legislate on the basis of what they think people are thinking, what’s in a person’s mind or heart when they create a crime,” Toomey told KDKA in Pennsylvania on Thursday. “Crime should be prosecuted for what’s actually done, and it should be vigorously prosecuted… We shouldn’t have a system that is designed to say now, what was so and so thinking at the time he committed his crime and let’s punish him more or less depending of what we think the thought process was. That’s ridiculous. People should be punished for the crime they commit.”

It should comes as no surprise that the Democratic candidate, Joe Sestak, supports the hate crimes law. He voted for it twice in the House.

Toomey is spewing the right wing lie that this is about thought crimes. It’s not. He should know better. And, he shouldn’t be a Senator.


—  John Wright