Passenger’s rainbow luggage tag defaced with the word ‘sodomite’

She dubbed it ‘bigotry, hate speech and destruction of personal property’

The tag was defaced en route to Atlanta
The tag was defaced en route to Atlanta

A passenger found her rainbow luggage tag defaced with the word “sodomite” after landing at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

Renee Gerrish, who is heterosexual, was outraged when she discovered the slur after a Delta Air Lines flight.

She tweeted a picture of the tag, alongside the caption: “Someone at Delta Air Lines baggage handling took it upon themselves to write ‘sodomite’ on my luggage tag. Bigotry, hate speech and destruction of personal property while in Delta airline’s care.

“I want this shared and on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community – I will not go quietly.”

Ms Gerrish, originally from Chicago, told LGBTQ Nation: “I’m deeply hurt and offended that someone felt the entitlement to ruin and tamper with personal property with hate speech.

“I wear LGBTQ+ support clothing and accessories regularly. As a girl, I love rainbows, but as a symbol of love and support for the community that means everything to me.

“I don’t care if someone thinks I’m gay because of choices in rainbow accessories.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it would investigate, but replied to the original tweet: “The majority of checked bags are screened w/o physical inspection by automated bag screening systems. If we must open a bag for add’l screening, we’re required to leave a notice of inspection.”

“As a hetero woman, I can only know my hurt, anger, and disappointment… PALE in comparison to what the LGBTQ+ community experiences on a daily basis,” Ms Gerrish wrote to the airline’s customer service team.

Delta said it “does not condone discrimination of a person or group for any reason".

“As a global carrier with a diverse workforce, serving a diverse customer base, we are committed to treating all passengers equally,” it added.

Ms Gerrish confirmed she is in talks with the airline.

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