Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 16, Ed. 1 Friday, August 31, 2012 Page: 4 of 48

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HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM | The couple's bag was open with the sex toy showing and
wrapped with plastic tape bearing the Continental logo. The zipper still worked so there was no
reason for handlers to tape the bag, and a foul-smelling lubricant had been smeared on the dildo.
Gay couple sues airline after
dildo taped to top of bag
A gay couple from Virginia is suing United/Conti-
nental Airlines after baggage handlers in Houston
allegedly removed a sex toy from one of their
checked bags, smeared foul-smelling lubricant on
it, taped it to the top of the bag and sent it back
down the belt.
Michael Hamar at The Bilerico Project reports
that the couple was returning from a vacation in
Costa Rica to their hometown of Norfolk, Va., last
year when they had a layover at George Bush In-
tercontinental Airport in Houston.
When the gay couple arrived at George Bush,
they retrieved their checked luggage and went
through Customs. They then rechecked their bags
and boarded their flight for Norfolk.
When they arrived in Norfolk, the bag shown
above was one of the last to come down the
carousel. It was partially open with the dildo show-
ing, and wrapped in clear plastic tape bearing the
Continental logo. The bag was left open despite
the fact that the zipper still worked, so there was
no reason for baggage handlers to tape the bag
open.
According to the lawsuit filed Friday, Aug. 24, in
Harris County district court, the couple "experi-
enced extreme shock and horror when they ob-
served the above described bag and when
observing the surprised and/or laughing faces of
numerous onlookers in the baggage claim area."
Hamar reports that the couple is suing the airline
for emotional distress, invasion of privacy and neg-
ligence.
"Because of the fact that the sex toy was con-
tained in the bag of a male, and because the em-
ployee® responsible knew that the bag belonged
to a male due to the name tag attached to the bag
and the male clothing contained in the bag, there is
a high likelihood that these egregious actions were
directed towards Plaintiffs because they are homo-
sexual and because they are males," the lawsuit
states.
— John Wright
Would marriage equality pass
the Dallas City Council?
Equality Texas has posted a petition calling for
the Austin City Council to approve a resolution in
support of marriage equality. As far as I know,
Austin would be the first city in Texas to do so.
According to the petition, the resolution is spon-
sored by Mayor Lee Leffhgwoll, Mayor Pro Tem
Sheryl Cole and Councilwoman Laura Morrison,
and backed by Equality Texas, the Human Rights
Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, the
NAACP, and the Mexican American Legal Defense
and Education Fund.
The resolution will be voted on in September. As
of Thursday, the petition had 763 signatures. Sign
it by going to TinyURL.com/AustinMarriage.
"Marriage provides legal and economic protec-
tions including access to health care, recognition of
parental and custodial responsibilities, property
rights, and other protections which are vital to the
safety and security of every family, and is a power-
ful and important affirmation of love and commit-
ment and a source of social support and
recognition," the petition states in part. "As the
Supreme Court said in the 1967 landmark case
Loving v. Virginia, 'Marriage is one of the basic civil
rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence
and survival. Thank you for your leadership in sup-
port of the freedom to marry and for sending the
message nationwide that the City of Austin values
equality."
One can't help but wonder how long it will be
before a similar resolution is proposed in Dallas.
Leffingwell is among the six mayors from Texas
who signed a Freedom to Marry "pledge" earlier
this year. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, of course, is
not — even though Rawlings has said he would
vote in favor of marriage equality if he had the
chance. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that
with Rawlings' support, the votes are there right
now, today, on the Dallas City Council to pass a
similar resolution. Can you guess who my other
seven votes are?
— John Wright
J
dallasvoice.com
08.31.12

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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 16, Ed. 1 Friday, August 31, 2012, newspaper, August 31, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth308882/m1/4/ocr/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.

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