The city of Calgary has unveiled a rainbow-colored bus in honor of the annual Calgary Pride Festival, and one driver says he’d rather lose his job than drive it.
Jesse Rau, a driver for Calgary Transit, says his Christian beliefs don’t allow him to support homosexuality. (Not marriage equality. Not LGBT-inclusive sex ed. Homosexuality itself.) He says that if he’s assigned to drive the rainbow bus, he’ll have to leave his job.
“I have a family to support and I am very concerned about losing the job, it’s something I’m very proud to be a part of, but when it goes against the most important things I stand for, or if I’m asked to compromise in such a big way for what I believe to be right, then I have to lose my job,” Rau said.
“I’m a Christian so, as a Christian, there are things like homosexuality that I just can’t condone. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, the accusation is that you hate the person.”
Never mind that Rau says he cannot morally support gay people existing — he’s worried about his reputation as a hater. Oh, the humanity! Oh, the hypocrisy!Unfortunately, Calgary Transit doesn’t work that way. Officials say you can hold whatever beliefs you choose, but you have to do your job.
Doug Morgan, director of Calgary Transit, says drivers can only refuse to work based on safety issues.
“Wheat we would do is open a dialogue with them and chat with them and ask them about their issues and making sure we’re being sensitive to their beliefs, but overall the service has to go out and we would ask them to drive the bus,” Morgan said.
To people like Mr. Rau, I ask: would you stop patronizing your favorite stores and restaurants if you found out their owners were gay? (Or *worse*: if they planted rainbow flags in their lawns?) Because I can assure you that you’d be cutting down your list of locales pretty significantly. I wonder if Rau owns any Apple products.
The pride bus will be in service through September 7, the day of Calgary’s pride parade. Calgarians, if you’re lucky enough to ride the rainbow bus, let this be a lesson that you can’t necessarily chat up the driver about how great marriage equality is. They’re just doing their job, and that’s all we can ask.
(Image via Facebook)