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‘Scandalous’ kiss & the unfriendly skies of Southwest

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POSTED September 27, 2011 11:46 p.m.

I abhor saggy pants. I firmly believe it is the height of rudeness to show the public what your underwear looks like or - worse yet - where the sun shouldn’t be shining.

As for same-sex kissing, if they can serve the country and die protecting my freedom, enough said.

And as far as someone being grossly overweight, I wasn’t quite there once but I was close enough.

Like it or not saggers, gays, lesbians and the significantly overweight are part of America.

Having said that, it seems Southwest Airlines prefers to serve a slightly more select America.

That’s fine. It’s a free country except for one little detail. If Southwest Airlines - as they state in their carefully crafted release after throwing  lesbian actress Leisha Hailey off a plane for “excessive” kissing - is worried about other passengers being uncomfortable they’d better rethink their public defense.

Again, no one is forced to fly the semi-friendly skies of Southwest Airlines. And - in defense of Southwest Airlines - the lesbian kissers and saggy pant wearers who were asked to cease what they were doing became upset. They essentially cursed and became a tad belligerent. It’s not wise to keep people upset like that onboard cooped up in an aluminum tube possibly venting their anger for an entire flight. As for overweight film director Kevin Smith who they kicked off a flight and who didn’t cause a scene, shame on Southwest Airlines for even letting him board so they could publicly humiliate him. If they had a concern about his girth then he never should have been allowed on board once he got to the gate.

Sagging pants is more than a reasonable safety issue. If there is a need to make a fast exit, other passengers shouldn’t have to worry about a passenger tripping on his clothing. Don’t say it doesn’t happen. It isn’t as rare as you think. Just ask peace officers who have managed to get the drop on a fleeing suspect who has had- in the vernacular of Hollywood- a “wardrobe malfunction.”

If Southwest Airlines has an issue with kissing, then they’d better throw everyone off flights who does so - straight or gay.

Hailey said it was a modest kiss on the lips. Southwest Airlines said it “was excessive” based on passenger complaints. While no one should be making out in public, there are more than a few folks who would view any sign of gay affection in public as excessive. That’s why one would hope that Southwest Airlines would refrain from admonishing those who kiss as being “excessive” and an annoyance would do so only when their flight personnel witness it happening.

A clue that Southwest Airlines might have sided with those whose tolerance of gays are a little lower than what they claim as “the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation” came when a flight attendant told Hailey and partner Camilla Grey that “they are a family airline.”

It is reasonable to expect a plane not to be a place where others have to tolerate anyone making out. But it is also reasonable to expect everyone be treated the same. Until the courts say that private business can discriminate against gays, they have no right to hold them to a different standard of conduct than they do other customers. It’s discrimination rooted in prejudice against their lifestyle choice.

Again, I do not like looking at guys’ underwear in public. I would not enjoy being on a flight stuck next to someone who is a bit too big for their seat. Nor do I find overt displays of public affection acceptable whether they are by gays, straights or any other combo du jour.

I also expect a flight to be uneventful and safe.

Southwest Airlines has gotten part of what they need to do right - making sure they don’t have agitated folks on board. Now they need to make sure they are not the ones doing the agitating by passing judgment on something flight staff did not personally see as being excessive unless they are willing to throw everyone off a plane who kisses someone else.

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