Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Uber: Lesbian couple kicked out by 'homophobic' driver for kissing

Uber: Lesbian couple kicked out by 'homophobic' driver for kissing

In a freaky case of sexual discrimination, a lesbian couple claims to have been kicked out of their Uber ride by a driver for sharing a small kiss in the back seat.

Alex Iovine, 26, and her girlfriend, Emma Pichl, 24, were riding with the auto service on Saturday evening in Manhattan when the driver suddenly pulled over and told them to get out of the vehicle.

Allen Fromberg, spokesman for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, said the city does not regulate behaviour in Uber cars - but added that what the driver had done was "unacceptable and repugnant" and "will not be tolerated".

She said they were in lower Manhattan when the driver pulled over, opened a rear door and ordered them to "get out of my vehicle".

El Boutari told the New York Daily News that he was uncomfortable with the couple's behavior in his vehicle on the whole, not just with the kiss. "We were just having a conversation throughout the ride and, at one point, we leaned over into the middle and peck-kissed", Iovine told CNN. "Nothing is illegal. It is not illegal to kiss in NY". "You aren't allowed to do this".

The women initially thought the unidentified driver was joking, but once they realized he wasn't they began recording the incident.

"This is an open society and Uber is a platform that is available to anybody regardless of your background, your orientation, and that is sacred to us", Khosrowshahi told the NY Post.

The driver said he asked them to stop kissing and lower the volume on their phones.

They say Ahmad El Boutari forced them out. "I didn't feel comfortable with them", he said.

When one of the women asked whether kissing was against Uber policy, the driver replied, "I don't want to argue with you". Elbotari said that he would do the same for a straight couple, but admitted that he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple. Why are we getting kicked out of the Uber?' and he said. "They reportedly have been refunded the cost of the $22 ride".

A spokesman said the commission was investigating the incident.

The company responded with a statement saying: 'Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience. It said it is investigating. I haven't experienced homophobic behavior in the city.

"It was a really bad experience - and ironically occurred on a bright sunny day during pride month in NYC", Iovine said. We live in this bubble and think this can't happen here in New York City. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".

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