NM shuttle firm: Sorry for treatment of gay couple

AP News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2013 10:42 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The company that runs the shuttle service to the Albuquerque airport's rental-car center is apologizing after a driver allegedly ordered a gay couple to sit in the back of the shuttle bus.

Standard Parking Inc. said it respects the equal rights of all customers and doesn't tolerate discrimination of any kind. It also said the employee was suspended after the company learned in July of the late June incident.

According to a police report, one of the men involved said they'd been holding hands and that the driver ordered them to the back when one of them started to sing.

The city's Human Rights Office will look into the incident, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/153bFwE).

The apology comes as the New Mexico Supreme Court considers a case involving an Albuquerque photography business after its owner declined to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple.

The couple alleged discrimination. Their attorney argued the business openly advertises its wedding photography services, and as a public business is required to follow the same anti-discrimination laws as any other company.

An attorney for owner Elaine Huguenin said gay marriage is against Huguenin's religious beliefs, and she was exercising her rights to free speech and artistic freedom.

It's unclear when the high court will rule.