Boyfriends Travis Player and Andres Orozco tell ABC 13 that they “thought [the driver] was joking until he actually pulled over,” asking them to vacate the cab several blocks from their destination.
They claim the driver was disgusted by their kissing, which they describe as “PG”:
“We gave each other a kiss and he told us to get out of the car. The man just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn’t give gay people rides, and he proceeds to tell us we’re going to hell for being gay.”
Yellow Cab says they “investigated” the driver following the allegations, but won’t reprimand him because he has the right to refuse rides to anyone for any reason, including passengers’ sexual orientation, skin color, and gender.
The company released the following statement to ABC 13:
“Yellow Cab immediately investigated this allegation of discrimination, including talking to the independent contractor driver. the driver stated that he would have taken the same actions if it was a man and a woman in the taxicab. Evidently, the driver was overly sensitive to passengers kissing. Yellow Cab does not have a policy about passengers showing affection in taxicabs. in fact, we encourage kissing in our taxicabs.”
But at the end of the day, it’s not about being kicked out of a cab. “We were expressing our love for each other and for someone else to jump in and clearly state it’s not right, that really did upset me,” Orozco said.
ABC notes that the couple would have been protected under Houston’s recently-passed equal rights ordinance, but since it’s being challenged in court, the taxi driver will remain free to discriminate.