Bus Driver Said He’d Rather Quit Than Drive A Rainbow-Covered Pride Bus

"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."

A bus driver in Calgary, Canada, says he’d sooner quit that drive one of the city busses that’s been decked out for Pride.

A Calgary Transit coach has been wrapped in a rainbow flag to celebrate the Calgary Pride Festival, which kicks on on Friday and will operate through September 6, the day of the city’s Pride parade.

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But Jesse Rau, who has worked for Calgary Transit for about a year, says he’d refuse to drive that bus because he’s a Christian and cannot support homosexuality.

“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.”

Rau hopes the company will allow drivers to abstain from driving the Pride caravan, but Calgary Transit director Doug Morgan says drivers can only refuse work because of safety issues.

“What we would do is open a dialogue… and ask them about their issues, making sure we’re being sensitive to their beliefs,” said Morgan. “But overall the service has to go out and we would ask them to drive the bus.”

Rau says he’s proud of being a bus driver “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.”

Can’t we just get Sandra Bullock to drive it?

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Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery