The management of the Madrid Metro has circulated a memo warning its employees to take special care to check the tickets of gays, musicians and beggars as they are more likely to dodge fares.
The flyer, which was handed out to metro staff said they should check the tickets of “homosexuals, musicians, beggars, and sellers” more often, a move that has shocked Metro managers who have vowed to find out who within the organisation is responsible for the publication – and punish them.
Despite the strong words of the Metro management, the spokesman of a local LGBT group has taken a conciliatory approach, admitting there may have been a reason for the leaflet being issued, even if it was discriminatory, reports theLocal.es. They said: “Possibly the warning was issued because this (metro) line is sometimes used by gay and bisexual men looking for chance encounters – which is known in the LGBT jargon as cruising.
“But vigilance against this sort of exhibitionism or sexual assault should be carried out regardless of the sexual orientation of those involved. Not all homosexuals are looking for casual sex nor can all homosexuals be physically identified.
“This constitutes without doubt a clear case of discrimination and harassment of individuals based solely on their sexual orientation.”
The Metro itself was quick to condemn the document, saying it had opened an investigation. A spokesman said: “Our board of directors were immediately informed and have opened an investigation to determine who printed and handed out these deplorable leaflets so that they can be brought to justice”.
Although this incident may transpire to have been a practical joke or malicious interference, the degree of access, and acceptance of errant behaviour for particular communities such as fare dodging has been a hot topic in some parts of Europe recently, as service providers have been urged to show tolerance towards groups who may be unused to paying for transport, or are accustomed to casual violence. Breitbart London reported last year on an Italian suburb who were having significant problems with the members of a recently arrived gypsy community on a local bus route.
After a number of locals, and bus line employees complained of physical violence and intimidation becoming a regular part of bus journeys, the local government resolved to take action. One bus passenger, who was described by local media as a “blonde haired Moldovan” said: “Everyone was attacked. They punched the ticket machine. Then they got on the bus and stuck a knife to my cheek… if it wasn’t for the bus driver, I don’t know how it would have ended”.
The mayor resolved to set up a new ‘gypsy only’ bus, remarking “It’s not racism, it’s just a way to solve a problem that has gone on for too long”.