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US: Gay couple told to sit at the back of a bus for holding hands in public

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  1. Paula Thomas 4 Aug 2013, 6:50pm

    David Lammy has been proved absolutely correct!!! Different but equal is a fraud which send people to the back of the bus.

  2. Absolutley disgusting. What upsets me more is that the couple actually complied ! Has Rosa Parks taught us nothing? I would have told him where to go if he dared attempted to shuttle me to the back. The fact they agreed just because they didn’t want to cause upset is a perfect example of how some LGBT people need to grow a back bone and stick up for themselves.

    That man should be fired.

    Mr. Pink

    1. That There Other David 4 Aug 2013, 8:03pm

      Likewise I would have stood up to him, taken footage of the entire thing on my smartphone, then filed a lawsuit against his employers. The only thing people like him understand is confrontation, so let him be on the receiving end of it for once. You never know, he might then stop and think before he lets all that childhood indoctrination govern his actions.

      1. Crista S. 5 Aug 2013, 1:29pm

        Photography usually is forbidden on private shuttles.
        Plus the bus is the drivers ship. What the driver says goesasheis the captain. And the captain is God.
        My advice dont hold hands nor display any overt affections
        on his bus. Respect goestwo ways,
        And the needsof many outweigh the needsof a few.
        We as lgbt arevery few.

        1. Christopher in Canada 5 Aug 2013, 2:40pm

          Wow. Home schooled? Stop proselytizing your mythology. It’s yours, not anyone else’s.

        2. If they were making-out then I would call out PDA! The fact is that he is the servant to those riding customers and has no right to over-step his position to accost those who are paying his wages.
          The driver was disrespectful and that company should be severely reprimanding him if they wish to continue profiting from people in the gay community. I live close to, and visit often, New Mexico. I’ll be looking at this company twice before using their services.

        3. “Not holding hands or displaying public affection” is the EXACT REASON people get so freaked out seeing it in public all the time.

          Because they’re never exposed to it.

          Because people are scared to hold hands in public.

          It’s a vicious cycle ! Visibility is key.

          Mr. Pink

    2. Oh, Mr Pink, it’s so easy to be a hero from the comfort of your armchair.

      1. That There Other David 4 Aug 2013, 10:15pm

        It’s also easy to be a hero in situations like this one, a lot easier than you realise. Note that the couple had support amongst other passengers.

        The time for putting up with this crap has passed. No more now. Time they learned to STFU with their unwanted pronouncements about how they don’t like us.

        And yes, before you infer otherwise I have stood up for myself plenty of times. And I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a damn sight easier to do so now than it was 20 years ago.

        1. Exactly. Also, I don’t really see how standing up for yourself is being a “hero”. What might seem “heroic” to you is merely “pride” for me. I bet Cal would have moved to the back of the bus without so much as a whimper. But like he said, it’s just /so/ easy to play the “hero” from the comfort of my armchair.

          Even though I do not live in comfort, or even own an armchair.

          Mr. Pink

      2. I’m well aware people say they would do something yet act different in reality but trust me; I would not have put up with that crap for a single moment. You think I wouldn’t have the courage to stand up for myself if I was in the same situation? If only you knew me…

        Mr. Pink

      3. It’s even easier to call out others comments without actually adding anything to the discussion. If you think someone standing up for themselves in a situation like this in 2013 makes them in any way a “hero” then I feel sorry for you because you must be totally devoid of any self confidence or self worth what-so-ever. I bet you would have shuffled to the back without question. It’s easy to be a hero yes, but it’s so much easier to be a snivvling, compliant coward.

        Mr. Pink

      4. I know how I would like to have behaved in the situation but as I don’t know all the details (and I’m not interested in willy-waving) I am unwilling to criticise the couple who were actually there. That is all.

        1. But you’re willing to critisize me instead, despite knowing even less about me than the couple? Alrighty then

          Mr. Pink

    3. vversatile 5 Aug 2013, 12:46am

      I’m all for making a fuss when something like this happens but they were at an airport for goodness sake.
      You start to cause trouble at an airport and you find yourself refused entry to the plane or refused entry to the country. With no comebacks or channels to complain.

      They did the right thing by complaining later.

      1. No.
        They were OUTSIDE of an airport.
        They were taking the shuttle to their hotel.

        They SHOULD have refused to comply with the unlawful demand of the driver.
        They should have called the police at that moment. Not later.

  3. That There Other David 4 Aug 2013, 8:01pm

    The symbolism of this is just perfect. The other side are winning the argument….for us, and they’re not even clever enough to see it.

  4. The bus company said “this was a mistake on the part of the driver.” No, I’m sorry, its wasn’t a mistake. A mistake is when they don’t notice someone waiting at a stop. This is a case of outright bigotry, not a mistake.

  5. Keith in SALFORD 4 Aug 2013, 9:05pm

    (With apologies to John Wayne..)


    1. Why apologise to John Wayne? – Hollywood’s most unashamed racist

    2. John Wayne’s real name was Marion Morrisonand he amassed a huge collection of dolls, which is something few people seem to know about.

  6. Robert in St Bees 4 Aug 2013, 10:51pm

    This is shocking in this day and age. Has the driver never heard of Rosa Parks or even the basic dictum of not offending your customers!

    The bus driver in Alabama 1955 was trying to obey distasteful state and city laws, whereas his modern comrade in New Mexico 2013 does not seem to understand the current laws of his state or the concept of customer relations!

    1. At some point in the future, society has a whole (perhaps only ‘western’ society) will look back at this day and age and think that LGBTs were only beginning to move on from our ‘dark ages’. We have still a long way to go to be treated as being fully integrated in society, a society that treats us no differently than everyone else. Though, as we know, there are many places in this day and age where their society as a whole is still in the ‘dark ages’ and LGBTs in those places are on the bottom rung of the ladder of society.

      1. GulliverUK 5 Aug 2013, 2:38am

        When you still hear gay slurs at work, from the guy sitting behind you, you know that coming out at work isn’t always advised, and that we still have quite a way to go. Now, many of the others in that team did slap him down, but another used it to launch him own homophobic slurs, even if he didn’t realise it.

        I’m not out at work, I’m a contractor, I can be fired with little notice, and I work right in the belly of the beast. I never expected liberal attitudes here. It’s just a job, I attach little importance to it.

        But the point is, many of us have more rights in the street than at work, in the sense that your boss can restructure the department to get you out, or make promotion unlikely, or sidetrack you on all the important projects. So yes, still a long way to go.

        1. Very pragmatic and down-to-earth reply, Gulliver. And, yes, the homophobes have s still one hell of a long way to go.

  7. It appears that the couple had support from other passengers and that the driver was very much in the minority. Also, the company is giving ‘sensitivity’ training (hopefully that’s diversity training). That’s only the minimum action taken by the company. No pubic apology has been given to the couple and that’s unacceptable. If an apology is not forthcoming, then the company should be given sanctions – we shall see.

    In the UK, there are places where a gay couple holding hands in public would be physically attacked. A gay couple publicly kissing or showing any kind of affection together would be likely to be attacked, either verbally or physically. Perhaps it is better in London. We have a long way to go to be treated as everyone else. Our Rosa Parks moment (i.e. defiance, whatever the consequences) has yet to happen. In most places, we are still not out in the open and publicly visible.

    The first comment on this page is absolutely correct.

    1. GulliverUK 5 Aug 2013, 2:51am

      I held my boyfriends hand in Kensington High Street, back in the early 1990s, and didn’t give a flying fcuk. I don’t recommend people putting themselves in harms way, but I encourage people being real, and if you want to hold their hand, do so. We came out and it advanced our opinion about our rights and equality, and we should be real, we should hold hands in public. That is really the least we should do.

      What do others think?

      Do I support sucking face in a straight pub? yes and no, I think it’s sweet sometimes, and other times I think ‘get a room’, straight or gay. If it’s a tender sweet act of love fine, If it seems like they’re about to start shagging and are excessively passionate, then I do think that’s best taken to the bedroom. But that line is individual for all of us.

      Holding hands is a fundamental right of expression in public, for all. Here, in Russian, Uganda, and everywhere. Everyone should do more of it.

  8. Sardinia 1989
    My partner and I crossed paths with a homophobic bus driver in Sardinia, we were the only passengers on the bus, he drove us well outside of town, stopped the bus in the countryside and demanded we get off the bus.
    We initially refused but as he was a big, non-english speaking, sweaty, hairy brute and clearly about to get violent and as his brother was probably the local chief of police we had little choice but to take our luggage off the bus and walk all the way back into town in the midday sun.
    What can you do when you are vulnerable situation like that in a rural area in a foreign country?
    We were not kissing or holding hands only sitting together and talking, if we’d reported him to the police we decided we may have been held under some false pretences, it seemed pragmatic to let it go though we were robbed of our fares and threatened with violence.

    1. Albuquerque New Mexico isn’t exactly the middle of nowhere, nor particularly “foreign”.

      What exactly is the point of your comment?

      1. I’ve been to New Mexico Mikey.
        Go fcuk yourself… I’m sure you you know how to do that.

    2. In 1989 that would have been a time when that driver could have (and did) get away with that type of behavior. Today, if a similar situation were to happen, you could put it out on the web to publicly humiliate the driver and the company. Get him fired, get a refund, and raise awareness of the abuses against the gay community.
      I’m sorry that you had to endure that. I wish you two had gone after the company to at least get him fired. I’ve had to deal with confrontations years ago and got the businesses that the incidents happened in front of to put security people out there and deter other incidents.
      Our community is in an all-out fight today!

  9. Glad to read the couple filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union.

    But what would have the greatest impact is some form of massive public humiliation of that particular shuttle-bus driver. The lesson needs to be learned.

    There are millions of homophobes out there and only FEAR is going to make them all draw in their horns and mind their behaviour. Once they then start minding their behaviour, they’ll be slowly altering their behaviour.

  10. The bus company said it will run driver’s through a ‘sensitivity programme’! How about a basic human rights programme! There job is to serve the public…ALL members of the public and to simply drive a bus. If i did what this driver did here,working on London Underground, and turfed people of the same sex holding hands off my train, i would be sacked! No 2 ways about it! This episode reminds me of the past- the segregaton of blacks and whites – out of sight,out of mind. I hope the driver and the bus company get well and truly scalded over this. Disgusting!

  11. GingerlyColors 5 Aug 2013, 10:52am

    At least judging by the last paragraph of the article the bus company wants to avoid a boycott similar to the one that followed the Rosa Parks incident in Montgomery, Alabama back in the 1950’s.
    In this case action should be taken against the individual rather than the bus company.

  12. Ar U Gaetu 5 Aug 2013, 11:46am

    Personally, I would have stayed in the front, but not everyone can fight the good fight. This is why I champion those too weak, and this is why I have rainbow colors on the back of my car; not that I have some pride in how my DNA developed, but to let the silent ones know they are not alone, much like letting the meek and downtrodden peek at the “S” under Clark Kent’s shirt.
    These apparently super powers to protect weakened total strangers is actually through my cowardice. I do not have the strength to live with a lifetime of regrets, endless haunting echoes of “I shoulda…”, if I sit and do nothing.

    Silence is compliance and there is no way some bigot is going to shove me back into the closet.

    “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” ~ Plato

    Not on my watch.

  13. Deanna Joy Hallmark 5 Aug 2013, 3:18pm

    I can see why this couple would want to avoid a confrontation and I won’t judge them for doing so. Sometimes it is wise to pick your battles and they did the next best thing to file a complaint with the ACLU.

  14. I thought we’d got over this shortly after Rosa Parks got on a bus???

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