Daly, who has since apologized for his comments, was talking about the incident on a JetBlue flight the day before when a group of men on their way to a security conference had to detain the pilot during an apparent breakdown.
“With my luck, it would be like, this is the flight going to the gay pride parade,” Daly said. He also suggested a “floral convention” in Las Vegas.
The comments were offensive to Alice Hoglan, the mother of Mark Bingham, who was on United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2011. United 93 was the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, apparently as passengers tried to take back control of the plane from its hijackers. She wrote an open letter to Daly, angry about the “ugly ignorance” of his jokes.
“Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit,” Hoglan wrote. “No one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking, ‘Are you straight? Are you gay?’”
Hoglan acknowledged the “grace” it took for Daly to apologize and said she hoped to speak with him in the future.
“The fact that I have hurt anyone is devastating. I’m not that guy,” Daly wrote in a statement posted on the GLAAD website. “I’m proud to be an ally of the LGBT community and will continue to fight with them.”