Many activists in the LGBT movement frequently hope and pray for a “Rosa Parks Moment.” By that, they mean a pivotal occurrence where an LGBT person stands up for themselves in a way that ignites a flame that won’t go out until we have our full equality. While this wasn’t exactly the Rosa Parks Moment some hope for, the irony is not to be missed.
According to the Village Voice, this weekend, openly gay performer Ari Gold claims to have been sitting in the front seat of a Short Line bus holding another man’s hand.
The bus driver reportedly told Ari that if they wanted to continue sitting together, they’d need to move to the back of the bus. Channeling Rosa Parks, Ari refused. The driver pulled the bus over and phoned for a state trooper. Upon the trooper’s arrival, the driver said that the couple was making him uncomfortable and he wanted them off the bus. Naturally, the trooper told the driver that nothing they were doing was illegal and he needed to continue the trip.
Ari announced to the bus what had occurred and the bus seemed displeased with the driver’s blatant homophobia. Ari will be filing charges.
We called ShortLine to find out if anything had been done about the situation and we were emailed this statement from George Grieve, President of Hudson Transit Lines:
I am the president of Hudson Transit Lines, Inc. which is the company known as Shortline. I wanted to assure you and your readers that we do not condone or endorse the actions taken by this one driver. His actions are not representative of the management of our Company. We will continue to investigate this incident until we are sure we have all the facts at which time we will take the appropriate disciplinary and remedial action. We apologize for the insensitive action of our driver and can assure you we will take the necessary steps to make sure this does not happen again.