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United Airlines apologizes to detained gay dad: "arm too close to 'child's genitals."

Henry Amador-Batten was detained after being accused of inappropriately having his arm "too close to son's genitals" on United Flight.
Photo credit:
Courtesy of Henry Amador-Batten

More airline news is lighting up social media this evening, this time it seems a little more serious than just being denied the “family boarding” courtesy.

United Airlines is apologizing to a family after one flight member thought that a father’s hand was "too close" to his son’s genitalia while they slept, then detained the dad for questioning after landing.

According to The Herald Sun United Airlines has confirmed the incident happened on Friday, May 19 on a flight to Raleigh-Durham, and have since apologized with the following statement:

“Our customers should always be treated with the utmost respect. We have followed up with the customer directly and we apologized for the situation.”

However, despite the apology, husbands Henry and Joel are deeply disturbed at the accusation and say their 5-year old Ben is also unsettled.

Joel posted the ordeal on Henry’s Facebook page in a group forum called DADsquared:

Tonight my husband was detained after disembarking a United flight to RDU because a member of the flight crew made an accusation that my husband's hand/arm laying across my sleeping son's lap was too close to the "child's genitals."

After being made to feel like a criminal in front of other passengers as they exited the plane my husband filed a report of his own mentioning that the male flight attendant that must have accused him had treated him oddly in flight, and was promptly sent on his way.

This is the icing on the cake for a man who has spent nearly the last two weeks in Puerto Rico dealing with his father's quick decline and subsequent death.

This is not how anyone deserves to be treated.

This is not something that should have happened in front of my son. This is not something that anyone should have to worry about happening to them on a flight just because someone might not like the looks of them.

My husband and I are parents. We are foster parents. We are in the process of adopting our second son. We are mandatory reports for any abuses that we might suspect are going on with children that we may come into contact with.

This misguided man's assumptions about my husband and the accusations that he made are completely unfounded and we plan on getting up bright and early in the morning to make as much fucking noise about this as I possibly can.


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The family says they are seeking out legal representation for further action against United.

The husbands’ Florida attorney, Kenneth Padowitz, said “Based on the horrible situation that they placed him in front of their son and other people on the plane, we are going to vigorously pursue to be compensated by the airline for this horrible embarrassing treatment.”