Was This Christian Bus Driver Fired for Refusing to Drive in a Gay Pride Parade?

Jesse Rau, left, says he was fired from his job for refusing to drive a gay pride bus.
Jesse Rau, left, says he was fired from his job for refusing to drive a gay pride bus. (Facebook/Jesse David)

A bus driver is claiming he was fired for not driving a bus in a gay pride parade, but his employers are telling a different story.  

Transit operator Jesse Rau says he felt "strongly pressured" about driving the bus, and was afraid he would lose his job if he refused. But says he was willing to forego his employment rather than violate his Christian beliefs.  

"I have a family to support, and I am very concerned about losing the job, it's something I'm very proud to be a part of," Rau told The Globe and Mail. "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." 

Rau was then terminated from the Calgary Transit System.  

In the termination letter, Calgary Transit tells Rau he was not only entitled to his religious beliefs, but allowed to express them freely.  

However, Rau "went beyond that and made false and misleading comments during various media interviews, which resulted in undue controversy and put the reputation of the city at risk." The letter continues to say Rau made serious allegations that those in power at Calgary Transit fabricated reports to "sabotage" him.  

Rau denies these claims, and says the media is just jumping on soundbites for the sake of a story.  

In the Facebook Group Stand with Jesse Rau, Jesse David (which links to a profile with Rau's name) writes: 

"This all started with my employer warning me about a facebook post of mine that was anti-fascism and anti-rainbow sex ideology. Than they pushed this radical sexual movement on all the employees and the public by making the rainbow sex pride bus in service on all routes." 

The post continues, "(Then) the director made a public statement on CTV about bus drivers having to drive the sex bus. There were certainly strong implications that drivers must drive the bus. (In fact) they originally publicly stated so in the first CTV news. BUT that was NOT what I've been trying to focus on at all though. My issue has always been that the employer shouldn't be putting such pressure on the employees and the public to 'get on board' with this sexual ideology. As long as people come to such quick judgments based on media sound bites, this country will continue to collapse." 

Meanwhile, the city maintains Rau violated their policy with his social media, according to CBC News

Was Rau just stirring controversy or is his ex-employer discriminating? Sound off!

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