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Alaska Airlines Under Fire for Separating Gay Couple on Flight to Give Seats to Heterosexual Couple

"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," David Cooley said in a Facebook post.

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Alaska Airlines is apologizing for an act of blatant discrimination against a same-sex couple, but the damage is already done as #BoycottAlaskaAirlines is circulating social media.


"Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Alaska Airlines," the company said in a statement.

However, the current executive team is all white men and the first woman on the list is three-levels down from the CEO. Out of 25 executives listed, only four apparently are women.

"It takes an amazing effort to exclude women to this degree," DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti said.

As diversity initiatives begin from the top down, the bias of Alaska Airlines flight attendants show.

David Cooley, owner of the iconic Los Angeles gay bar, The Abbey, was on a flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, when he and his partner experienced discrimination.

"After my traveling companion and I had been seated in our assigned seats for a while, we were approached by the flight attendant and my companion was asked to move from his premium seat to coach, so a couple could sit together," Cooley wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

"I explained that we were a couple and wanted to sit together. He was given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane," Cooley wrote.

"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," Cooley added. "I cannot believe that an airline in this day and age would give a straight couple preferential treatment over a gay couple and go so far as to ask us to leave."

The airline issued an apology after Cooley shared his experience on social media.

"We mistakenly booked two people in one seat," the company said, in part. "We are deeply sorry for the situation," and added that an investigation is currently taking place.

But if the reactions on social media are any indication, Alaska Airlines is on the path to losing customers:

Oracle Underpaid People of Color and Women by More Than $400M: Department of Labor

Oracle's "suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers," according to a federal filing.

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The U.S. Department of Labor, in a federal filing on Tuesday, accused Oracle of underpaying thousands of people of color and women employees by more than $400 million. Employees with years of experience are paid as much as 25 percent less than their white male peers.

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Supreme Court to Allow Trump Administration Transgender Military Ban

"The Trump administration's cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review," Jennifer Levi, of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said.

The Supreme Court has allowed President Trump to move forward with his ban of transgender people from military service, as the case continues to make its way through lower courts.

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Two Students Leave University of Oklahoma After Blackface Video Surfaces

"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."

Screenshot/ Snapchat

Another video of a student in blackface has surfaced at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

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Senator Holds Airlines Accountable When Servicing Customers With Disabilities

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.

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U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.

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California Defies Trump's Order NOT to Pay Furloughed Workers Unemployment

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color.

Screenshot from ABC 7

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."

It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.

Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."

"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.

"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color, and they are over 35 percent of the country's federal workforce.

Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.

His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."

Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.

Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.

A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.

Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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