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

DEATH: Paul David Tomko

Paul David Tomko, 41, of Dallas died on Aug. 19.

He was born in El Paso and graduated from Irvin High School and University of Texas in El Paso.

Tomko had lived in Dallas for the past 10 years. He worked as a senior IBM consultant, and previously had worked as a project manager at CPM, and before that worked at White Sands Missile Range.

Tomko was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Tomko.

He is survived by his father, Donald Tomko; brothers, Jackie Tomko, Donald Tomko Jr., DwayneTomko and Jammye Tomko; nieces, Megan Tomko and Samantha Tomko; and many aunts, uncles and friends.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. at North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane.

Tomko was a frequent donor to AIDS Inerfaith Network, Resource Center Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter and donations in his memory can be made to any of these organizations.

—  John Wright

Bigots accidentally strip health benefits from retired cops & firemen in El Paso

Oops.

A group of conservative Christians set out to block El Paso, Texas, from granting health-care benefits to same-sex partners of city-government employees. But the ballot measure they helped pass in November may also end up stripping benefits from others, including retired policemen and firefighters.

The measure was aimed at gay workers and their partners. The wording of the proposal, however, was vague, asking El Paso residents to endorse “traditional family values” by limiting benefits to “city employees and their legal spouse and dependent children.”

So when 55% of the voters approved the measure on Election Day, they eliminated coverage for some 200 people who don’t fit that description—among them elected officials, who aren’t technically city employees, and many former city workers, the city says.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

News: Climbing, Jack Mackenroth, El Paso, Evan Lysacek, Illinois

 road

Details on the Google – Verizon internet policy proposal. Neutrality nixed for wireless.

 road Signorile: How the Right manipulated the media to make Judge Walker's sexuality an issue.

Mackenroth  roadFormer Project Runway designer and HIV activist Jack Mackenroth won seven medals at the Gay Games in Cologne, Germany this week.

 roadSimon Cowell shows off his manscaping skillz.

 roadBroadway Impact hosting major Prop 8 ruling celebration at Therapy in NYC tonight from 7-9: "Currently scheduled to take part in the celebration are Hunter Bell, Heidi Blickenstaff, Susan Blackwell, Nick Adams, Shayna Steele, Will Taylor, Jose Llana and Jason Tam.

A question-and-answer session will include Richard Socarides (former advisor to President Clinton) and newly crowned Miss New York Claire Buffie (she is running on a gay rights platform for the first time in Miss America history)."

 roadJane Lynch to host SNL.

 roadEl Paso, Texas voters to decide November 2 if domestic partners employed by the city are eligible for health benefits: "The topic has become a heated battle between those for and against the decision by El Paso City Council made months back. Many against the decision claim the city is endorsing homosexual lifestyles, and have been fighting to overturn council's decision."

 roadEvan Lysacek: The "verdict is still out" on Johnny Weir's gender.

 roadRobbie Williams tied the knot.

Mormon   roadA gay Mormon couple thanks Judge Walker.

 roadEquality Illionois PAC endorses Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: "The endorsement highlights what gay rights advocates say are significant differences between Quinn and his Republican opponent, state Sen. Bill Brady, on issues of importance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

'I think this is one of the most important elections ever, because the choices for our community are markedly different. We have a guy who opposed fairness and equality and a guy who spent his entire career standing up for all Illinoisans,' public policy director for Equality Illinois, Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com."

 roadA shift in Orthodox Jewish attitudes toward gay people?

 roadMale model fix: Janice Fronimakis.

Homoclimb  roadA report on the recent Homoclimb.

 roadEvidence that Arizona's SB1070 has gone into effect

 roadYouthPride Atlanta calls on gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal to stop elevating the gay-bashing in his race against Karen Deal, and to stop lying about anti-bullying gay youth group.

 roadRyan Gosling, sitting around looking beautiful.

 road A review of the Neil Patrick Harris-directed production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl.

 roadTarget stock sinks after boycott: "Shares in the Minneapolis-based discount retailer have declined 3.5 percent since the morning of July 27, when Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel first defended the donation, prompting critics to call for a consumer boycott. Its shares were off 1.5 percent Tuesday, closing at .98…arget spokeswoman Jenn Glass said Tuesday that the shifting stock price reflects 'too many factors that we can't attribute it to just one thing.'"


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright