Male crooner slash lust object Ari Gold recently became a kinda-sorta-not-really gay rights figure when a Short Line bus driver asked Gold to sit in the back of the bus for holding hands with another man. Oh this should go well…
When Gold and his friend refused, the driver stopped and called for a New York state trooper who then came on board and asked what the problem was. The bus driver said that the way were were sitting made him uncomfortable and that he wanted Gold and his pal off the bus. Says Gold, “The trooper said nothing was illegal and he needs to continue to drive.”
Michael Musto explains, “Ari then made an announcement to the other passengers, explaining that they had been pulled over to wait for the state trooper because he was holding hands with a man. They all seemed deeply pissed at the blatant homophobia.”
Gold plans on filing charges against Short Line and consulting Lambda Legal to at least see if Short Line can provide better employee training. On his Facebook page, Gold says, “I stood up to the driver despite my racing heart, I can only imagine what that might have done to someone who couldn’t.”
George Grieve, President of Hudson Transit Lines has responded by issuing this statement:
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.
So Ari Gold’s “Rosa Parks moment” won’t start a bus boycott (mainly because businesses know better these days than to discriminate wholesale against entire subsets of America), but he is a small-time hero. And did we mention he’s hot…?
Because he is.