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Madrid metro memo says gay people are ‘a problem group’

Madrid metro memo says gay people are ‘a problem group’

Spanish authorities have opened an investigation to discover the author of an internal memo circulated to Madrid’s metro staff identifying gay people as a ‘problem group in need of extra vigilance’.

The document advised employees on particular groups to check for valid tickets at stations along on the line. Between two stops, Sol and Las Rosas, the memo instructs workers to keep an eye on ‘musicians, beggars and gays’.

The revelation drew criticism from Teodoro Peñuelas, of UGT, the trade union representing metro staff.

‘I don’t understand why it would assume that homosexuals wouldn’t pay for their tickets and that need to be monitored. Why not tall people, or blondes or those who wear glasses?’ he told the Spanish newspaper El País.

Senior rail executives quickly condemned the contents of the memo, the managing director confirming he had swiftly initiated an investigation and promising to determine the culprit.

One LGBTI group in the country, Arcópoli, said it would try to meet with metro management to demand an explanation and urge the company to launch a campaign to help combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.