Christine Quinn | Discrimination | Gay Pride | Martina Navratilova | New York | News | PETA

Quinn Denounces Anti-Gay, Racist Carriage Incident; Drivers' Union to Undergo Anti-Discrimination Training

Earlier today, Towleroad posted video of a disturbing incident which took place over LGBT Pride in which a carriage horse driver hurled racist, sexist, homophobic slurs at a group of women leafleting nearby, along with a letter from Martina Navratilova condemning the incident and urging Speaker Christine Quinn to do so as well.

In the video, the driver is seen calling one woman a "f**king ni**er" and a "c*nt", and mocking the group of them for attending "the dyke convention".

NavratilovaNavratilova also used the opportunity as an animal rights activist and PETA spokesperson to urge the Speaker to change her position on the carriage industry as a whole and replace the horse-drawn carriages with cruelty-free eco-friendly cars.

Quinn responded to the incident and Navratilova's statement with a letter to the Teamsters Union and to Navratilova herself, both of which Towleroad obtained after reaching out to Quinn's office for a response to our original post.

Read them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Quinn's letter to the Teamsters Local 553 Union blasts the driver's behavior. The Union responded immediately, according to the NYT blog City Room, which picked up the story:

On Tuesday, Ms. Quinn said the union representing carriage drivers had agreed to immediately require its members to undergo anti-discrimination training. Ms. Quinn said her office would work with the union to find an appropriate gay-rights organization to help put the training in place.

QuinnSaid Quinn in the letter, which urged the training:

A video of one of your carriage horse drivers verbally assaulting a group of women during NYC’s LGBT Pride week was recently brought to my attention. The behavior depicted in this video is reprehensible and unacceptable from anyone, and is especially unbefitting of an industry the City Council has made sure treats its animals humanely...What happened to these women is truly outrageous and wrong and should not be tolerated.

Quinn also responded to Navratilova's criticism of the carriage horse industry, emphasizing practices which she says assure the safety and health of the carriage horses, but was not persuaded to change her position on their employment on New York City streets:

Given the tough economic times that we are in, we continue to believe that our current regulatory scheme, which does not permit the operation of electronic cars, strikes a fair balance between having stronger regulations in place to protect these horses while allowing an industry that generates vital jobs and tourism for our city to continue.

Read both of Quinn's letters, AFTER THE JUMP...


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    "anti-discrimination training". AKA pay a middleman to make it seem like you did something.

    We all know "sensitivity training" works so well....

    Posted by: Lucrece | Jul 17, 2012 9:29:42 PM

  2. Hello Martina. I'm sorry the world cannot be tailored to your particular and uncommon sexuality. New York has cleaned up quite a bit. Some compare this newer version to "Disneyland." I don't know if you were aware there are gay nights at the actual "Disneyland." As for reality, don't we wish every displeasure could be eased, by sending a letter to the "right" person. Unfortunately when you choose the gay card, you will no doubt get people without a full deck reacting to you. You're letting words dominate your life. You're a big girl in the city. Grow up. Last I checked gay has not be relegated to royalty just yet. Many people in NY from the 20th century haven't received "the oppressed minority" memo. It's almost worked.

    Posted by: Billy | Jul 17, 2012 9:49:12 PM

  3. I love Quinn. Seriously, I think she will be a great mayor! At least I hope so.

    Posted by: trevor | Jul 17, 2012 9:53:32 PM

  4. Yow BILLY, that's some high horse you're on.

    Did you really just call a former world champion a "big girl in the city"?

    Either you're 80 and have a few world titles or Nobel prizes of your own, or you're a condescending misogynist bigot who looks down on anyone who doesn't fit or agree with your worldview.

    Posted by: UM FROM UMBRIDGE | Jul 17, 2012 10:19:24 PM

  5. Better to be on a high horse than being pulled by an electrical vehicle. Get out the adjectives honey. I'm none of those. And she's a world champion of hitting a ball with a racket. She sucked at "Dancing With the Stars." New York is the largest city in the world
    You get everything. Is "bigot" the new catch phrase? I've met many gay women -- some very famous - groundbreakers.. Sling all you want. I'm a gay male. So being a male, I can take it. I won't be wasting any ink to validate my influence. There's an expiration date on that. Sorry.

    Posted by: Billy | Jul 17, 2012 10:36:39 PM

  6. So, in other words, the racist, heterosupremist POS keeps his job.

    I won't be visiting NYC anytime soon.

    Posted by: Johnson | Jul 17, 2012 10:49:57 PM

  7. Have you been to NYC? You see that all the time, but there's something called "street sense" that you develop to survive there.
    So take all your adjectives and words and stay out of NYC. Cause you'd be eaten alive. Spineless dweeb.

    Posted by: Billy | Jul 17, 2012 11:13:45 PM

  8. I don't condone this man's language, but why do these PETA idiots whine and cry about EVERYTHING? Horses have been used to carry carriages for CENTURIES. Get over it!

    Posted by: Sick of PETA | Jul 17, 2012 11:22:45 PM

  9. Adjectives are words. That's like saying put on a shirt and cover your torso.

    Posted by: Johnson | Jul 17, 2012 11:35:10 PM

  10. Johnson: Brilliant. When was the last time you were with a boy? Are you gay in definition or action?

    Posted by: Blue | Jul 17, 2012 11:47:50 PM

  11. @Sick of PETA - yeah, horses have been used for centuries. Only recently have they had to dodge SUV's. And as people evolve they actually consider that what they've always done might not be in any one or any things' best interest. Like having horse drawn carriages on city streets.

    As for Billy and Blue: STFU.

    Posted by: AZEXPAT | Jul 17, 2012 11:55:33 PM

  12. I posted this on the original post, am posting it here on the update for anyone who may not have read the original story, hope that's OK:

    As with any mere blip of video, there's a backstory.

    For 6 years,a growing group of radical animal rights activists have been assembling on 59th St, to harangue, harass, insult, & bait the drivers and their passengers, while attempting to interfere with a legal business.

    They say things off camera, and then turn it on when they get a response, or just edit down to spotlight what they want. They have used all types of racial, ethnic, and misogynistic slurs, have made children in the carriages cry, even told a pregnant carriage driver that her baby 'should be born dead or retarded'. Of course, none of that makes the final cut of the video.

    In internet forums, these people have championed actual sabotage of the carriages and stables.

    It goes without saying that pointing to bad behavior does not mitigate other bad behavior; what this driver said was wrong, period. What he said doesn't reflect the opinions or feelings of the industry, has nothing to do with the issue, and it doesn't even reflect the real feelings of the man who said it, as he employed a gay man for 6 years as a driver on his OWN carriage, and has friends from every race imaginable (yes, I know that sounds like the old 'some of my best friends are black', but it happens to be true.)

    Remember Alec Baldwin called a carriage driver a 'faggot' back in 1992, right inside City Hall? It was reported in the media, and he was called on it by out-Councilman Tom Duane, and had to make a public apology at Duane's behest. He did, and all was forgiven.

    This driver -- pushed to the brink by lunatic activities week in and week out, for years, followed, filmed, and dogged, called 'bog trotter', 'drunken Irish scum', 'dickless', 'ball-less', 'animal abuser' etc etc ad nauseum -- said something hateful which was meant to hurt the people who were hurting him; he was fighting back by pushing buttons. Who among us has never done this? He now very much regrets his words and intends to apologize for them. He is genuinely horrified that he stooped to their level.

    You can believe me or not, but I know -- because he is a good friend, in addition to being one of the best drivers and horsemen in the industry.

    To those of you who think there is abuse or cruelty in the NYC carriage industry, you very much mistaken. Our horses enjoy amenity-filled lives with more oversight than children at risk in this city. I'd be happy to answer any questions any of you have.

    Posted by: Thomas | Jul 18, 2012 12:03:41 AM

  13. You kids are great at code: STFU Raised in a world of no face to face communication, their little initials serve them well. These PETA people inject themselves into what they perceive to be the animals
    "feelings." Everything today is over think. Santa Monica ,CA charges for shipping bags. They recently passed a law banning smoking in one's home. I'm not saying smoking is good but really... And Azexpat: Go FU-K YOURSELF! Oh my, real words!

    Posted by: Blue | Jul 18, 2012 12:08:40 AM

  14. Martina thinks she the poster girl for gay women. Rosie has guts. She's my favorite. Ellen need to be put out to pasture. You can have Gramps Anderson, and Prissy Roberts. Nate Berkus is today's image for the gay male. No pretense, talented and cute.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 18, 2012 12:18:33 AM

  15. Right, BLUE, a horse has no feelings. It has intellect. Put it on a modern city street, and it just KNOWS, with its advanced brain, how to deal. Because horses know how to reason through adversity. When they put blinders on a horse, it's just for show. It's quaint.

    You are a F*CKING IDIOT, BLUE. How's that for words? I'm an unapologetic carnivore. How's that for more words? I use animals. I'm okay with my place in the food chain. But dominion doesn't have to mean abuse, you F*CKWAD.

    Posted by: AZEXPAT | Jul 18, 2012 12:48:24 AM

  16. Now that I've enraged you, I can see from your behavior that you should never consider adopting or having any children, or even consider marriage I was raised around horses, I would never harm one. You're a lunatic.

    Posted by: BLue | Jul 18, 2012 1:03:02 AM

  17. Billy the fact that you call Martina's sexuality uncommon in the manner you did, and I can quote it here if you'd like, speaks to where you stand on our communities issues. You're bias is showing boo boo

    Posted by: Kule | Jul 18, 2012 1:20:59 AM

  18. Oh Blue,, don't flatter yourself. You haven't enraged me. You've just irritated me, like spicy food, and I thought I'd dump you just as quickly. You are here to stir up sh*t. Congratulations on your lofty goals, troll. GFY.

    Posted by: AZEXPAT | Jul 18, 2012 1:47:10 AM

  19. Has anyone noticed this site's comments section has literally been taken over by trolls?

    Posted by: Michelle | Jul 18, 2012 2:30:09 AM

  20. @ Michelle

    Yeah. The comments section on this site is some of the worst I've seen. So many other fantastic gay blogs with civil and level headed commentators. I love towleroad, but the amount of subtle to overt homophobia displayed in the comments by the trolls is making some people move on to the thousands of other gay blogs on the net.

    @ Billy

    Find a new hobby you psycopath. Nothing you said above made the least bit of sense, except for to convey your deep emotional issues

    Posted by: 2Cents | Jul 18, 2012 2:37:27 AM

  21. Billy-
    What the hell are you talking about? I've lived in NYC my whole life. People most definitely do NOT go on racist or homophobic rants if unwarranted. There's gay people in every corner of this city and it's not common for them to be on the recieving end of homophobic tongue lashing. Infact, this city is great at pretending no one around you exists. People dont even look at the person next to them, much less interact with them, much less randomly call them slurs out of nowhere. You must be thinking of jersey. In this city, people don't go on verbal attacks unless they have a reason to. So don't bring that BS about gay people growing a thicker skin. Any NYer will tell you, if someone disrespects you on the street, they're asking for a beat down and most peeps are too preoccupied in themselves in this city to be inviting drama and mess randomly.

    Posted by: Joey | Jul 18, 2012 2:42:07 AM

  22. Billy,

    You're an idiot to epic proportions. We're not an oppressed group? Of course the LGBT is opressed in many avenues, but that's irrelvant to this story. Lesbians got disrespected with vile words hurled at them... I don't care who you are or where you're from, expect some consequences for your profound bigotry. When you put your bigotry on blast in the street, expect a backlash. That backlash can be anywhere from a punch in the face, or recorded you tube video which equates to public humiliation for the bigot. I think you got the gay and lesbian community mistaken for far weaker than we are. There's a new crop of gays in society today, and we don't go crying home when faced with homophobia, we cofront your kind head on.

    Posted by: CastleCordozaTile3476 | Jul 18, 2012 2:46:41 AM

  23. Billy, you sound like a dang ghetto mess. Just a mess. Your writing spell out so much resentment, bitterness, jaded, anger. Poor thing. And you'll never be able to change that misery either. You'll always remain that miserable.

    Posted by: lazerlightbeam | Jul 18, 2012 2:50:45 AM

  24. People like Billy do sadly exist in the gay community. They've had a few bad apple encounters with a few gays and lesbians and suddenly, they resent the whole community. They are quick to defend an outside opresser or anti gay ilk, or always put to question the motives of gay people. They've internalized their bad experiences with some gays, and justify it to resent all gays.

    They resent advancements made by the community. They resent protests made by our community. It's their way of "getting back at us" but really, their anger is misdirected. They are the reason the community couldn't be accepting of them.

    If you walk into an environment unwilling to learn/grow and be sensible, you will be shunned. Some go inward and better themselves as a result, and some, like Billy, use it as an excuse to target the gay community altogether. What they don't get is they are just making themselves more miserable in the long run: the gay community will continue fighting for causes near and dear to them... And loudly so. One bitter party in the sideline demanding we not care about out rights and respect won't deter us because in the scheme of things, we can't even hear you. You're all but a small insignificant voice.

    So ask yourself Mister know it all Billy, with angst toward our community, who are you really hurting with your grudge over gays? It's certainly not gays, 99.9999999% of whom don't even know you exist. Really let that one sink in.

    Posted by: Christopher Landry | Jul 18, 2012 3:00:58 AM

  25. @ Billy,
    You just got yourself a verbal beat down by Christopher Landry. Hope you enjoyed us calling out your transparent issues for what they are.

    Posted by: AJ | Jul 18, 2012 3:02:37 AM

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