“He said, ‘You’re two men, why are you kissing?’ We said, ‘That’s my boyfriend, I’m gay,’” Iraq war veteran Eric Williams tells Q13Fox. “That’s when the cabby started to get really hostile with us. He pulled off the road and told us to get out of the car, he wasn’t going to serve us.”
It was the 4th of July and Williams and his boyfriend, Diego, were on their way home from a gay bar in downtown Tacoma. They called Yellow Cab for a ride home.
Williams says they were in the car for just a few minutes when they gave each other a peck on the lips. But the driver claims it was more than just a kiss, and that he was offended.
“There are two sides to every story,” Yellow Cab spokesman Anthony Nix told Q13Fox. “We want to just make sure both stories meet somewhere in the middle.”
Williams served two tours in Iraq and endured a Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell investigation about his sexuality. He called the experience with Yellow Cab “shocking” and something he never thought this would happen to him on the 4th of July of all days.
“I was just in a state of shock when I got out,” he says.
Yellow Cab maintains that any form of discrimination is against company policy. It plans to investigate the situation by surveying video taken from inside the cab. The company says that if what Williams alleges proves to be true, the driver, who has been on the job for seven years and has no record of previous complaints, will be terminated.
“If he’s done this before or not, it doesn’t really matter,” Williams says. “It happened to the wrong person because I’m not going to stay silent. I’m going to let people know what happened so they know their rights, so they stand up for themselves.”