“Tattle: Mid-air smooch draws airline ire” http://articles.philly.com/2011-09-28/entertainment/30213191_1_laura-nyro-flight-attendant-beastie-boys: when I first saw this headline pop up on my phone I thought it was a joke. After huge advances in the gay community such as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the legalization of gay marriage in New York two women are kicked off a plane for kissing? Southwest airlines defends their actions by saying that their job is to make their passengers as “comfortable” as possible and so they needed to be escorted off the plane.This lead me to thinking what exactly is “uncomfortable” about the situation (or any social situation, in fact) and how is it dealt with? If people feel “uncomfortable” about any single show of affection between gays or lesbians then will they ever get used to it? Discrimination based on sex was recently banned in the military with the repeal of DADT but if it is still internalized does it not exist anymore? The obvious answer is yes, it still does but if people keep refusing to ignore the problem and choose not to deal with two women kissing and rather have them reprimanded for it then it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
This however, isn’t the first time Southwest airlines has received heat for kicking off passengers for seemingly insignificant incidents. Leader singer of Green Day, Billy Joel Armstrong was kicked off earlier in the year for refusing to cooperate after being told to lift because they hung too low also citing the reason as making people more “comfortable”. And again, this seems kind of ridiculous. I remember learning in high school government that if you use a public service that you are agreeing to temporarily wave some of your rights in order to use the facility. One of the most notable examples of this is at subway stations how if you are asked to open your bag you need to do so or else you can’t enter. However how many rights is too many rights? Are sagging pants and kissing lesbians on a plane comparable to hiding bombs on a train? Yes, these two incidents may make people uncomfortable but I doubt it would be to the point where people would actually get of a plane or fear their life is in danger.


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