Gay couple sues airline for taping `sex toy` to luggage
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A gay couple in Virginia is suing United-Continental Airlines after airport staff allegedly removed a dildo from their checked luggage, covered it with a "vile"-smelling lubricant and strapped it to the top of their bags before sending it down the baggage carousel during a trip last year.
Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger of Norfolk, Va. are seeking punitive damages from the airline for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, the New York Daily News reported.
"I was shocked, humiliated, embarrassed, horrified and confused because I didn''t know what to do," Borger told the publication.
Bridgeman, 34, and Borger, 35, claim that the incident occurred on May 21, 2011 when they were returning from a vacation in Costa Rica to Norfolk, Va.
"To see all the expressions and how [people] were looking at us, we really felt completely powerless," Bridgeman told the Daily News.
United Airlines said that it has conducted an investigation into the incident and found that there is "no support" for the couple''s claims.
"United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," Christen David, a spokeswoman for United, said in a statement to the Daily News. "Nonetheless, we offered these valued customers a gesture of goodwill which they declined. We will vigorously defend ourselves and our employees."
The couple said they have filed the lawsuit in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring to others.
"This was intentionally done in our minds. It was maliciously done," Bridgeman said. "When we started undoing the tape, we said to each other, ''this is a hate crime.''"
"There''s no way we could let this happen to anyone."
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