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Tech CEO Wages Social Media War After United Airlines Manager Hurls Gay Slur

Billy Canu and Partner - P 2011

The alleged incident involving SEOHaus CEO Billy Canu comes just two months after Southwest Airlines sparked controversy over accusations it kicked "L-Word" actress Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend off a flight for kissing.

Two months after Southwest Airlines kicked L-Word actress Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend off a flight, United Airlines is now under scrutiny because an employee allegedly used an anti-gay slur against two male passengers on Saturday.

According to SEOHaus CEO Billy Canu's description of the incident on his Facebook page, he and his partner Michael, were called "faggots" by a man identifying himself as a manager after the couple complained of the treatment they were receiving at the United lounge at the Denver International Airport.

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Canu wrote, "This conversation went back and forth for approximately a minute and I then ushered my partner away. Rodney was continuing to threaten us by removing us from the airport. We posed no 'threat' to be removed from the airport, the only aggravation we showed was upset from a rude service desk clerk.

"After walking away Rodney followed us and continued to fuel the fire. We did challenge him to act better. He then followed us threatening again to remove us, as to which point we walked away.

"Rodney Hill then shouted 'idiots' at us. Angered at this my partner attempted to walk back to challenge him, my partner shouted 'what was that?' and Rodney replied. 'What faggots?' before walking back to the customer service desk."

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Canu wrote that they did not engage the employee further out of fear that they'd be escorted out of the airport and miss their flight, and instead detailed the exchange on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Canu told Denver's ABC affiliate that he and his partner want an apology from the airline, "No one wants to be handled in a derogatory way. We understand things can get heated, but I think their customer service could’ve handled it much better."

United addressed the issue in a response on its Facebook wall, "We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and we take this customer’s complaint very seriously. We immediately initiated a review of the alleged incident and have contacted the customer to follow-up. However, we have not been able to corroborate the customer’s version of what was said."