Jesse Rau, a bus driver in Calgary, has declared that he would rather quit his job than drive a Pride-themed bus. The bus, celebrating Calgary’s Pride week, is wrapped in a rainbow and features the slogan “Ride with Pride.”
According to the National Post, Rau is a Christian and doesn’t support homosexuality.
Rau, who has only been driving a bus for a year, hopes that both Calgary Transit and his union will stand up for him and other drivers who might refuse to drive the Pride bus. However, that seems unlikely, as the director of Calgary Transit, Doug Morgan, states that drivers can only refuse work over safety issues.
Jesse Rau summed up his feelings about the Pride Bus and his involvement in the National Post article.
“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. 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.”
At the unveiling of the Pride bus, Doug Morgan explained the significance of the design in a Calgary Herald article.
“Really, we’re celebrating diversity in Calgary. Calgary’s changing and we want to be part of that change and recognize our customers are different and celebrate that.”
For Calgary Pride’s director of government affairs, Craig Sklenar, the bus is an important addition to the Pride festivities, and he is pleased that Calgary Transit has made the move to include the design on the bus.
‘It’s a sign of the change in Calgary. There’s still much to do in as much as LGBTQ rights are concerned but we are excited there [are] such public displays of pride across the city over the next few weeks.”
For Calgary Transit’s part, the Globe and Mail outlines how Doug Morgan plans to deal with the prickly Pride bus situation.
“What 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.”
Calgary Pride runs from August 28 to September 7, and then the Pride bus will then revert back to its standard design.
[Photo from Calgary Transit]