A New York Uber driver allegedly kicked a lesbian couple out of his car for kissing in the back seat because he found the act “disrespectful”.
Emma Pichl and her girlfriend of two years, Alex Iovine, had just left a friend’s birthday party at a bar in Brooklyn on Saturday evening when the couple called an Uber to take them to their friend’s house, the New York Post reported.
“We were sitting on opposite sides of the back seat. At one point we leaned over and pecked kiss, very fast,” Pichl told the publication.
Pichl said five minutes later the driver “pulled the cab over and said, ‘You should not do that… do not do that.’
“And then he opened the car doors. I thought he was kidding and then Alex said, ‘I don’t think he is.’
“He started yelling at us that we were disrespectful and inappropriate and that he wants us out of his car… we were going back and forth trying to understand.”
A video that Iovine posted to Facebook showed the moments after the Uber driver kicked the women out.
Both can be heard asking the driver what the issue is as they stand outside the vehicle.
Is kissing is “illegal” in an Uber?
“I said… don’t do it,” the driver tells the women who then ask him if kissing is “illegal” in an Uber.
“Yeah, it is illegal. You don’t do that here in the car… you are not allowed to do this,” the driver says.
One of the women then asks the driver, “What are you f—ing talking about? Are you sick in the head?”
“You are not allowed… it’s disrespectful. I don’t want to argue with you. Just get off my car,” the driver said.
Pichl claimed the driver grabbed at her girlfriend’s arm in a bid to stop filming on her phone before he “got back in his car and sped off.” She says they were left stunned and were charged for the full Uber ride.
“We were in shock. Definitely very shaken and upset. We always thought we lived in this untouchable New York City bubble where LGBTQ is so accepted,” she said.
“We never thought something like this would happen to us. It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere. It didn’t feel real.”
The couple filed a complaint with Uber, who apologised to the couple and said the couple would be fully refunded for the trip.
“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience. We are investigating and will take appropriate action,” an Uber spokesperson told the Post.