He says he won’t compromise his Christian beliefs.
The bus’ front display says “HAPPY PRIDE” and a banner on the side says “Ride with Pride” with information about Calgary’s Pride week.
Now meet Jesse Rau, a Calgary transit driver who would rather lose his job than compromise his values by driving a rainbow bus.
“I’m a Christian so, as a Christian, there are things like homosexuality that I just can’t condone,” Rau told The Canadian Press. “Unfortunately, we live in a culture where if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, the accusation is that you hate the person.”
Rau said he has a family to support (and his young child can in fact be seen in a CTV Calgary report) and is concerned about being out of work.
However: “If I’m asked to compromise in such a big way for what I believe to be right, yes of course I have to lose my job, there’s nothing else that I can do,” Rau told CTV Calgary.
“I’m put in a corner.”
A Calgary Transit spokesperson said drivers can refuse to drive based on safety issues, but that’s about it.
The city’s first official Pride week was proclaimed by the mayor in 1991 but he faced so much backlash that he took it back.
This year, in addition to the Pride bus, Calgary has rolled out a rainbow road.
Calgary’s Pride celebrations kick off on August 28 and the bus will remain in service through until the day of the parade on Sept. 6.