Uber driver ‘kicks lesbian couple out of his car for kissing’
A lesbian couple was allegedly thrown out of an Uber for kissing.
In a shocking video posted on Facebook, the two women – Emma Pichl, 24, and her girlfriend Alex Iovine, 26 – can be seen being told by driver Ahmad El Boutari that their kiss was “illegal.”
The couple was travelling through New York when they claim El Boutari saw them sharing a moment and stopped his car before forcing them out and calling the women “disrespectful.”
It is the latest in a series of incidents in which Lyft and Uber drivers have ejected same-sex couples for showing affection, including a gay couple who were left on the side of the road in Texas at 4am earlier this year.
Speaking to the New York Post, Pichl recounted what happened, saying: “We got over the Manhattan Bridge into the city.
“We were sitting on opposite sides of the backseat. At one point we leaned over and pecked [a] kiss, very fast,” she said.
Just five minutes after that, Pichl said the driver “pulled the cab over and said: ‘You should not do that… do not do that.'”
When he forced them to step out of the vehicle, the couple started recording.
In the video, El Boutari tells the pair: “It is illegal. You don’t do this.”
When they protest, telling him that “kissing is not illegal,” he insists they’re wrong, saying: “Yes, it is illegal. You don’t do this in the car.
“You aren’t allowed to do this.”
When they press him on the issue, he tells them that “it’s disrespectful” before seeming to attempt to take the phone they’re using to record the argument.
Iovine told the MailOnline: “Obviously, he’s homophobic.
“I was very surprised. I haven’t experienced homophobic behaviour in the city. We live in this bubble and think this can’t happen here in New York City.
“This goes to show that it can happen anywhere.”
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After the couple complained to Uber, the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi condemned El Boutari’s actions, saying: “I think they don’t belong driving, period.”
“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,” he continued.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance and we will do everything we can for that not to repeat.”
Uber and New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is investigating the incident.
In May, a Lyft driver in Indiana kicked a gay couple out of his car for sharing a brief kiss.
And last year, Lyft banned a driver after RuPaul’s Drag Race star Jay Rivera claimed they were kicked out of a car for being gay.
Watch the shocking video here: