A gay Sydney man has claimed he and a friend were kicked out of an Uber because of their sexuality, just a day after the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations.
Ryan Ottey uploaded video to his Facebook page showing part of the incident in the Uber he and friend Aaron Brown (both pictured) shared on Sunday.
Brown claimed he put his head on Ottey’s shoulder and he kissed Brown on the forehead during the journey, which led to the driver abruptly telling them to get out of the vehicle on the side of the Eastern Distributor motorway.
“The driver immediately turned around and said, ‘Not in my car, I’m not driving you anymore, get out of my car,’” Brown told 9news.com.au.
“We were just dumbfounded and thought it was a joke so we questioned him and asked why.
“He just repeated himself and said, ‘I can’t drive you anymore, this is my car and I’m not driving that’ – talking about us.”
Ottey began filming part of their interaction with the driver, as he demanded to know why their trip was ending.
“You don’t want to take us? Why?” Ottey asks the driver in the Facebook video.
“I don’t want to take you, you can get another car,” he said.
“Well, get f—ed then,” Mr Ottey says.
Writing on Facebook, Ottey said he found the incident “humiliating, degrading and totally disrespectful”.
“Despite it being the weekend of celebrating all things LGBT, some are not so accepting and open,” Ottey wrote.
In a message to Brown, Uber offered to refund the cost of the trip, 9News reported.
“This isn’t the regular Uber experience, and you shouldn’t have to put up with this kind of inappropriate behaviour,” the company’s message read.
“[Uber] will be looking into this trip and taking the appropriate steps to ensure this experience doesn’t continue.
“Our technology is a two-way street for both riders and driver-partners, and driver-partners that behave inappropriately may have their access removed.”
An Uber spokesperson said in a statement that the company “does not tolerate discrimination” and they were investigating the incident.
“Our community guidelines expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and make it clear to driver-partners this behaviour can result in them losing access to the Uber app,” the spokesperson said.
“At Uber, we try to reflect the diversity of the cities we serve and we’re proud to roll out Rainbow Routes during Mardi Gras weekend to show our support for the LGBTQI community.”
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