A same-sex couple in southeast London's Blackheath borough say they were thrown off a bus after a quick kiss by a bus driver who spat homophobic slurs, reports the London Evening Standard.
“The bus driver shouted, ‘Oi you two, don’t do that on my fucking bus or you can get off, I don’t want to watch that,” 23-year-old Jack James told the Standard.
At first, the couple assumed the driver must be speaking to someone else doing something patently offensive. Because of this, the men did not respond until they were ordered off the bus.
“When the bus stopped at our stop I walked up to the driver and politely asked the driver if he was talking to us," James recalled to the Standard. “His reply was ‘Yes, it’s my bus, it is my rules, and I don’t want to watch that — it’s disgusting; get off the bus.'"
The Standard reports that the driver has been identified as an employee who is currently on leave, unrelated to the alleged incident. Transit for London, which operates the bus route in question, is investigating the incident, which happened in late summer.
"All customers have the right to use our services without fear of being abused and offensive behavior is completely unacceptable," Ken Davidson, head of bus operations for the transit agency, told the Standard. "We would like to reassure Mr. James that this matter is being taken very seriously and that a thorough investigation is being conducted."
For his part, James says he is now considering filing a formal police complaint about the incident, which was reportedly captured on the bus's security camera.
“Once we got off the bus we were fuming and I was shaking," James said. "The bus stopped again and he shouted and told us we were not real men and we should fuck off.”
In another recent homophobic rant caught on video, popular U.K. television psychic Sally Morgan's husband and manager, John Morgan, told a skeptic handing out leaflets outside the a TV studio that he was a "poof." Morgan also threatened to physically assault Mark Tilbrook, whose pamphlets questioned the legitimacy of Morgan's clairvoyance.
Also in late summer, as the Standard reported, a security guard at a Sainsbury grocery store in Brighton threw two women out for engaging in what they described as a "peck on the cheek." After much media attention and a gay "kiss-in" attended by hundreds bearing smooching lips and colorful signs, the Sainsbury chain apologized.