11:08 AM CDT, September 27, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- Leisha Hailey, "The L Word" actress and musician, says she was kicked off a Southwest flight after kissing her girlfriend.
"So we've joined the ranks alongside @BJAofficial and @ThatKevinSmith for being kicked off an @SouthwestAir flight, this time for being gay," said a message Monday on the @UhHuhHerMusic Twitter feed. (Hailey, a member of the group Uh Huh Her, worked on Showtime's "The L Word" from 2004 to 2009.)
But the airline says sexual orientation was not the issue.
A Southwest Airlines crew member approached Hailey after other passengers complained that she and her girlfriend's kissing was "excessive," the airline said Monday in a statement.
The crew then made the decision to escort the couple off the plane after the discussion "escalated," according to the statement.
Southwest said that its crew had "approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender" after receiving "several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive."
According to Southwest, "The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight."
Hailey complained Monday via Twitter that they had been booted from the flight "for being gay," calling for a boycott of the airline.
"This is an outrage," Hailey tweeted. "I demand a public apology by @SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline. We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable."
The airline said it was prepared to "work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectation.
Hailey and fashion designer Nina Garduno have been a couple since 2006.
Hailey is not the first celebrity to have issues with Southwest.
Kevin Smith was escorted off a Southwest jet in February 2010, for being too large for a single seat.
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, a.k.a. @BJAofficial, got the boot earlier this month for wearing pants deemed to be too saggy.