HOUSTON — Two Houston men are the latest same-sex couple to be kicked out of a taxicab for being affectionate.
Travis Player and Andres Orozco tell KTRK-TV they were booted from the cab during a ride home from a local bar. “We thought he was joking until he actually pulled over,” said Player.
“We gave each other a kiss and he told us to get out of the car,” according to the couple.
“The man just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn’t give gay people rides,” Orozco said. “And he proceeds to tell us we’re going to hell for being gay.”
Yellow Cab said it investigated the allegation and said the driver, an independent contractor, “was overly sensitive to passengers kissing” and that he would have reacted the same way had the couple been a man and a woman.
Yellow Cab said in a statement Monday that it does not have a policy about passengers showing affection in taxicabs, adding “in fact, we encourage kissing in our taxicabs.”
On Tuesday, Yellow Cab issued a follow-up statement saying it regretted the driver’s action: “It is absolutely unacceptable that any passenger ever be denied service because of her or his sexual orientation. Yellow Cab has consistently been a vocal ally of the LGBT community in Houston and does not condone any discrimination whatsoever. No matter who you love, Yellow Cab will be there for you.”
An Houston city ordinance that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is currently on hold pending a legal challenge.