Gay Web sites were abuzz last month when Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell defended a "gay businessman" from homophobia in the Alaska Airlines lounge at Sea-Tac Airport. Outsports has learned that the businessman was Sergio Turbay, who is a gay flag football player in Los Angeles.
The reported story said that another male passenger spewed homophobia at Turbay because he made a pro-Obama statement. According to Turbay, that isn't true. The passenger had been clearing his throat loudly and Turbay asked him if he was okay. Turbay claims the man became belligerent, saying "you’re a queer, you faggot."
When an Alaska Airlines employee came to resolve the dispute, the male passenger claimed that Turbay had called him an "asshole" first. That's when Cornell interjected that the other passenger was lying. Cornell's wife also said she was offended by the passenger's anti-gay comment.
Alaska Airlines eventually asked the man to leave. It was only after the man had left the lounge that another passenger made a pro-Obama statement.
Turbay was not thrilled with how the airline handled the incident:
I thought Alaska Airlines did a poor job. Even after confirming the incident, they were concerned about not calling security so the guy would not be kicked out and miss his flight. And also were very attentive to him to reimburse him for been kicked out. Meanwhile other than a later apology, nothing was offered to me to compensate for the incident.