Two gay dads were called ‘rapists’ and ‘pedophiles’ by an unidentified man while on an Amtrak train trip along the California coast. 

On April 12, Robbie Pierce and his husband, Neal Broverman, were travelling with their two children when a man started yelling at them. 

Man Started Yelling Homophobic Abuse

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In an interview with NBC News, Pierce said, the man “started yelling across me and shouting [at my 6-year-old son], ‘Remember what I told you!’” 

“The next thing he said was, ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman. They stole you, and they’re pedophiles.’”

Pierce and Broverman got between the man and their sobbing children and Pierce said, “Get away from my family.”

The man responded, “That’s not a family! You’re rapists and pedophiles. You steal Black and Asian children and you rape them,” referring to the races of the children.  

Amtrak staff intervened and the train’s conductor asked the man to leave the train at once. 

Man Refused to Get Off Train

However, according to Broverman, the man refused and said, “I’m not getting off. You’re going to have to kill me before I get off the train.”

Amtrak officials contacted the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office to assist and the unidentified man was removed from the train. 

It was later revealed that the unidentified man approached the 6-year-old in the train bathroom, prior to the incident, and told him that his parents had “stole” him.

“These people who are allegedly so concerned about pedophiles and rapists are following children to the restroom… It’s just frightening. It’s so hypocritical, and it makes me as a parent feel powerless,” Pierce said.  

Dad Blames Conservative Rhetoric

Pierce blames the political climate in the United States and the rhetoric of conservative politicians and conservative cable news.

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Pierce recalled, “As soon as he started saying ‘pedophiles’ and things like that, I thought he just seemed like he came preloaded with these statements. 

“So, I thought, ‘Ugh, OK, we’re dealing with someone who’s consuming right-wing media.’”

Pierce continued, “I’m done letting these people pretend that they care about protecting children or not harming them, because this rhetoric is directly harming my children. So, if you want to talk about who’s endangering children, it’s anybody who’s sharing these lies.”

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