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Gay Couple Suing Houston Airport After Their Personal Items Were Vandalized

A gay couple from Norfolk, Virginia, are suing the George Bush International Airport in Houston, TX, after their dildo sex toy was taken out of their luggage. They also report a suspicious lubricant like substance smeared on the sex toy, and then the dildo was taped on top of the couple’s luggage when they picked up their luggage in their hometown of Norfolk. The couple are seeking an unspecified monetary amount for damage to their property, the following negligence of the airport, and the emotional distress brought on by the traumatizing ordeal.

In May of last year, the couple reported they were humiliated as passengers and onlookers laughed at the sex toy being on display in front of everyone and called their friends from the traumatic and embarrassing experience. Here is an excerpt of the court papers filed yesterday describing of the encounter in detail:

On May 21, 2011, Plaintiff’s a homosexual couple, were returning from vacation on a flight provided by Defendants United Continental Holdings, Inc., and Continental Airlines, Inc. (collectively referred to as “Continental”) from Costa Rica to Norfolk, Virginia—-After going through Customs, Plaintiffs rechecked their bags, and proceeded to board their flight to Norfolk. Upon arriving in Norfolk, Plaintiffs exited the aircraft and went to the baggage claim area. Plaintiffs’ bags were sent to the baggage carousel where Plaintiffs discovered to their horror, that a private sex toy had been removed from one of their bags, covered with a greasy foul-smelling substance, and taped prominently to the top of their bag.

Plaintiffs experienced extreme shock and horror when they observed the above described bag and when observing the surprised and/or laughing faces of numerous onlookers in the baggage claim area. Plaintiffs were experiencing such a high degree of shock and embarrassment that they felt compelled to call two friends to come to the airport to assist them. Fortunately, the friends arrived and were able to assist Plaintiffs out of the airport and to their home, but by that time the damage had already been done, and Plaintiffs had suffered severe emotional trauma.

…It was one or more of Defendants’ employees that searched through Plaintiffs’ private items contained in their bag with no feasible basis, removed the sex toy, defiled the sex toy, and taped it on display with the intent to inflict extreme emotional distress and mental anguish upon Plaintiffs. Because of the fact that the sex toy was contained in the bag of a male, and because the employee(s) 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 homosexual and because they are males.

Also note that the zipper of the luggage bag the sex toy was placed on was still working when it was recovered by the couple. So the airport can’t claim that the zipper had suffered some form of  “malfunction” during the flight from Houston to Norfolk.

What made matters even worse is the response (or rather lack thereof) from the airport. The couple didn’t hear a response from the airport to their complaint until 2 days after the 10 day deadline for a response to incidents involving customers and their response simply read that they’d look into it.  Ridiculous. I hope the couple is compensated for the experience they had to endure.

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Sly

Sly Merritt has a BA in psychology/sociology. MA in clinical psychology. He's a flip flop wearing hippy with a peaceloving mindset. Even pacifists like him know when it's time to do all we can for LGBTQ equality. Sly's views are all opinions not advice.

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