Gay Displays of Affection Infuriate Cab Drivers
Gay people around the country are infuriating taxicab drivers with their public displays of affection.
"You can't be gay in my cab," Kate Neal, of Portland, Ore., says a cab driver yelled at her when he noticed she and her girlfriend being affectionate with one another.
She alleges he kicked her out of his Broadway Cab on the side of the Interstate in the middle of the night, reported Portland, Ore., CBS-affiliated stationKoin.com.
"I was initially shocked," Neal said. "This is Portland."
"He made homophobic remarks that were very hurtful to us. We did not want to be in his cab,'' Neal's partner, Shankako Devoll, told the Oregonian reported.
"I was holding her hand and we kissed a couple of times in the back seat, minding our own business,'' Devoll said.
A second Broadway Cab driver pulled up and told Neal, Devoll and a friend, who was riding with them, to get into his cab, Neal told the Oregonian.
But after some unheard communication between the first and second cab drivers, Neal said, "That second cab driver came back and ejected us from his cab.''
Apparently a police officer was less offended by the couple's hand holding. When Neal flagged him down he gladly gave the trio a ride home and arranged for them not to pay cab fare.
A similar incident happened in Chicago in May. This time it was two gay men publicly kissing that a cab driver witnessed. CBS Chicago reports the men were nearly booted from their cab onto the "rain-slicked Kennedy Expressway".
Steven White and Matt McCrea were on their way home from O'Hare Airport when McCrea "leaned over to look at something on the phone and then he leaned in to kiss me," said White.
It was a closed-mouth kiss that lasted just a second.
"First base," McCrea insists.
According to the driver, kissing is much more lascivious when gay people do it. He claims the couple was "making sex."
"He could have asked us to ’please don’t do that’ and handle the situation a lot differently than it was handled," McCrea says.
"He indicated that it was a public mode of transportation and we shouldn’t kiss in his cab," White says. "He pulled the cab over and stopped and wanted us to get out." It was 11:30 p.m.
The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which oversees the city’s cabs, said drivers have rights, but cannot discriminate. Police found no proof of impropriety.
The CBS news program contacted the cab company, Sun Taxi Associates, about the driver in question to get their side of the story, but the company never responded.
Broadway Cab in Portland was much more contrite. President Raye Miles released a statement on the company’s Facebook page.
"I would like to take this opportunity to say that Broadway Cab is fully committed to the concept and practice of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, and diversity. This includes any form of discrimination based upon an individual’s sexual orientation. We take allegations of discrimination very seriously... We celebrate diversity every day. Discrimination should not, cannot and will not be tolerated."
If you are interested in watching gay public displays of affection, you can see a video recreation of the Chicago couple "making sex" in the CBS 2 news report.