Remember the shocking story about a gay couple being forced to sit at the back of a shuttle bus in New Mexico because they were holding hands? Well one week has passed, and they have finally received the an apology for it.
Ron McCoy and Chris Bowers, originally from Portland, had flown in to visit Albuquerque and their trip just so happened to coincide with gay pride. According to McCoy, the bus driver was felt uncomfortable with them showing any sign of affection and discrimination against them.
"I saw him look at us, look down at his hands and he looked so angry. He just blurted out at me, he goes, 'Okay, if you're going to do that [holding hands], you're going to the back of the bus," McCoy told KRQE. They were just on vacation.
Although the couple didn't want to be in the spotlight, the incident received national attention. "We weren't trying to be Rosa Parks," McCoy explained to KRQE TV. The men just wanted to have a nice vacation, but ended up having to deal with a homophobic driver the minute they got off the plane.
According to NPR, the company, Standard Parking, has now issued a formal apology.
"We sincerely apologize to Mr. Bowers and Mr. McCoy for any disrespectful treatment they received in New Mexico. Standard Parking respects the equal rights of all customers, and we do not condone or tolerate discrimination of any kind against any of our customers or employees, whether relating to sexual orientation, gender, age, race, nationality or religion."
Mayor of Albuquerque Richard Berr told KOB TV 4 that he was deeply disturbed by the event. "This does not reflect Albuquerque, New Mexico. And as the mayor I'm upset about it and we want to make sure we get to the bottom of it," he said. He is bringing the case to the city's human rights office and the ACLU might also be bringing their case to court.
The driver has been suspended, and all other employees will be receiving a mandatory sensitivity training to make sure this never happens again.