Bus driver disciplined for homophobic Pride ‘bum busters’ slur

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The driver refused to apologise for his comments when challenged – repeating the slur again.

A bus driver has been disciplined after making homophobic remarks over Belfast’s Translink open radio network during city’s Gay Pride festival parade last Saturday.

The driver used an “offensive term” for homosexuals while using his radio to talk to the control centre, complaining he was stuck in traffic because of the celebrating crowds, reports the BBC.

The Nolan Show reported that when he was challenged over the slur, he stood by what he said by repeating the comments again.

In a statement, Translink said: “We would like to apologise to our passengers and staff, following an incident on Saturday 1 August where a Metro driver used offensive language over Translink’s open radio network.

“We take incidents of this nature very seriously and we expect all our staff to deal with their passengers and colleagues in a friendly, helpful and professional manner at all times.

“A full investigation has been carried out and appropriate action is being taken,” they added.

The comments were only made public when an anonymous source wrote to the Nolan Show to highlight what had happened.

The Rainbow Project’s John O’Doherty said: “I think it’s an indication of the everyday homophobia that still exists within our society and which people have to put up with and in many ways is tolerated.

“It shouldn’t be tolerated in the workplace especially in relation to public employers but the reality is in too many places and too many parts of our society it is still acceptable.”

He also said it was “hugely disappointing” that such comments should be made on Belfast pride day, in a city that already faces adversity from anti-LGBT groups.

“It was such a positive day for our city where tens of thousands of people came out on the street to celebrate an amazing community, an amazing culture and we’ve seen such positivity and such benefit to the people of this city as well, not least of all financially,” he said.

Despite the introduction of same-sex marriage in England, Scotland and Wales, the DUP government in Northern Ireland continues to block all legislation on the issue.

The DUP shattered hopes by blocking equality for a fourth time earlier this year – but a poll has this week found that same-sex marriage has overwhelming popular support.

The Ipsos MORI survey found 68% of people in the country now support same-sex marriage – even higher than the 62.1% who voted Yes in the Republic of Ireland.