Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Driver sacked after kicking lesbian couple out of Uber for kissing

Driver sacked after kicking lesbian couple out of Uber for kissing

New York City has suspended the license of an Uber driver who kicked two women out of his vehicle after they kissed.

Alex Iovine, 26, and her girlfriend, Emma Pichl, 24, said the ordeal began on Saturday evening after they'd ordered an Uber to take them from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

A Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman calls the driver's behavior "ridiculous".

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

Speaking to the New York Post, Pichl recounted what happened, saying: "We got over the Manhattan Bridge into the city".

"After we had peck-kissed, sitting on opposite sides of the back seat and not even touching, I saw him looking at me in the rearview mirror", she said.

"You are not allowed ... it's disrespectful ... it's disrespectful".

Both Alex and the driver submitted complaints about the incident to Uber.

"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.

'It's illegal, ' he said. They say Ahmad El Boutari forced them out, sparking a confrontation.

In the footage, Mr El Boutari says that kissing in an Uber is illegal - adding: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my vehicle". But Iovine and Pichl said they were doing no such thing.

'It's disrespectful, ' he says as he reaches for the phone to stop the recording.

El Boutari added that he would have acted similarly if it had been a straight couple, though he admitted that he has "less tolerance" for same-sex couples.

After 4000 fares on Uber, he said he has a stellar rating.

Uber has removed Mr El Boutari's access to its app, saying it does not tolerate discrimination.

According to Uber, which has a non-discrimination policy, the incident was also reported to the company by the driver. TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg says "we reached out to them (the women) immediately and commenced an investigation".

Meanwhile, Iovine and Pichl say the incident has changed their perspective on being in a same-sex couple in New York City. It said it is investigating.

"It was a really awful experience - and ironically occurred on a bright sunny day during pride month in NYC", Iovine said.

'Obviously, he's homophobic. I was very surprised. "We always thought we lived in this untouchable New York City bubble where LGBTQ is so accepted", Pichl said. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".

Like this: