A man was bumped from his flight Tuesday night after telling Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to “go to f–king hell” for opposing same-sex marriage.
The 32-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, accosted Abbott near their gate at JFK Airport. Both were scheduled for a direct flight on Jet Blue from New York City to Austin.
The Dallas Morning News reports:
“I hope you [expletive] go to hell because of your stance on gay marriage,” the man told the governor, using an epithet for emphasis, according to Abbott communications director Matt Hirsch, who was with the governor.
The man, identified only as a 32-year-old male by Port Authority police, was asked to step back by Texas state troopers traveling with the governor. As he walked away, Hirsch said the man, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, directed a parting shot at the governor: “I’m going to see you on the plane.”
Port Authority police responded and conducted a background check on the man, but it came back clean. They didn’t arrest him because no direct threats were made. However, Jet Blue security bumped him to a Wednesday morning flight, and the airline put him up in a hotel room.
According to the governor’s spokesman, other passengers were unnerved by the incident:
“The governor respects and is always willing to listen to the viewpoints of others,” Hirsch said. “He’s grateful for the airport officials who handled the incident in a professional manner.”
Abbott vigorously defended the state’s same-sex marriage ban as attorney general. However, he appears to have softened his stance somewhat as governor, due to backlash from the business community. Earlier this year, he declined to call a special session of the Legislature on same-sex marriage despite pleas from anti-LGBT activists.
The irony is that Abbott was in New York City to try to lure businesses to Texas. But his right-wing positions on an array of issues, including LGBT rights, have arguably done more to hurt the state’s economy than he could ever do to help it.
Watch a report from KXAN-TV below.