ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After a gay couple was asked to sit at the back of an airport shuttle bus in June, Mayor Richard Berry is speaking out, saying the driver's actions do not represent New Mexico.
A gay couple said they were forced to sit in the back of the bus because they were holding hands.
Now the mayor is taking action.
"I saw the story on your station and became very upset over that," Berry said. "There's no place for that in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There's no place for discrimination anywhere."
Portland couple Ron McCoy and his partner, Chris Bowers, visited Albuquerque in June for the city's PrideFest. McCoy said through FaceTime that when they sat at the front of one of the Sunport shuttle buses holding hands, the driver didn't like it.
"I saw him look at us, look down at his hands, and he looked so angry," McCoy said. "He just blurted out at me. He goes, ‘OK, if you're going to do that, you're going to the back of the bus.'"
Berry said he's never heard of a situation like this.
"I've lived here a long time. It's an isolated incident," he said.
The Sunport contracts with private company Standard Parking to run the rental car shuttle buses.
The mayor has asked the newly-created Office of Diversity and Human Rights to investigate and see if the city needs to review its contract with Standard Parking.
"For two reasons," he said. "For one, we want to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened. Number two, we want to make sure we create opportunities for this particular vendor, this particular employee, to get whatever training that they need to make sure this never happens again."
McCoy said no one has apologized.
The mayor said when the inquiry is complete, he plans on sending a letter to the couple with the hopes they'll give Albuquerque another chance.
"We need the country and community to know this is not Albuquerque, New Mexico," Berry said. "This is a place where diversity has always been at the top of what we celebrate."
The couple has filed a complaint with the ACLU and are considering legal action.
A Standard Parking manager said Friday the driver was inappropriate and got "carried away."
The company is now requiring all drivers to take sensitivity training.
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