Nationwide, LGBT leaders are speaking out against Alaska Airlines following discrimination against a gay couple on a flight from New York City to Los Angeles Sun., July 29.
According to reports, the couple was instructed to move from their seats to a lower-class seating area or be removed from the flight, in order for a heterosexual couple to be seated together. New York LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick is calling for a boycott of the airline until the incident is thoroughly investigated, the flight crew responsible is disciplined, and until the staff and administration of Alaska Airlines complete LGBT cultural sensitivity training. According to a press release Kilmnick has offered the LGBT Network’s training services to Alaska Airlines for free.
According to recent statistics cited by LGBT Network, LGBT Americans are among the most targeted by hate crimes and continue to be among the most discriminated against. Approximately 20-25% of LGBT Americans will be the victims of a hate crime during their lifetime. 15% of people identifying as LGBT report discrimination as the biggest issue they face in society, leading to physical violence and verbal harassment. 68.5% of individuals identifying as LGBT believe discrimination somewhat affected their psychological wellbeing.
“Incidents like the most recent one on Alaska Airlines clearly demonstrate that our work is needed more than ever," said Kilmnick. "We cannot rest for one second and need to be vigilant so that every single LGBT person is safe and treated with fairness and the dignity they deserve.”