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Two friends kicked out of taxi for being gay

Patrick Kelleher July 31, 2018

Two gay friends from Philadelphia were kicked out of a taxi when their driver said he didn’t want “that gay s**t in my car.”

The incident happened shortly after midnight on March 16th, when Joel Bautista and Michael Rios – who live close to each other – hailed a taxi to get back to their neighbourhood after spending the evening in a bar.

The pair briefly discussed their love lives and then moved on to talking about Lasik surgery when the driver pulled over and ordered them out of his car.

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Rios took a photo of the man’s driver certificate before he drove away, and the next morning Bautista lodged a complaint with the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The agency acted swiftly. They received the complaint at 10am that morning, and by 2.30pm, they had the driver in for an interview.

The driver’s story shifted several times. First, he claimed that the men had “talked dirty” in his car, and then he claimed that they had propositioned him.

Finally, he claimed that the men asked him to pull over early, and then suggested that they had refused to pay their fare.

Bautista and Rios were horrified, and told the Philly Inquirer that they “didn’t want to interfere with his livelihood,” and said they “just wanted him to know that what he did was wrong.”

“But when we heard about the lies he was telling, we said, ‘No, we want to go to court.’”

At an administrative hearing on July 12th, the driver was fined $175 and had his driver’s certificate suspended for 30 days.

Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

This is not the first time that a case like this has made headlines.

Just last month, a lesbian couple were allegedly thrown out of their taxi for kissing.

Emma Pichl and her girlfriend, Alex Lovine recorded footage of the driver, who told them that their kiss was “illegal”.

He went on to tell the women they were being disrespectful.

Similarly, Randall Magill and Jose Chavez say they were thrown out of a cab in Texas in January of this year after sharing a quick kiss.

The driver allegedly told them that he couldn’t stand it and made them get out of the car.

Magill said that the driver stopped as quickly as he could and ejected the pair into the middle of nowhere at around 4am.

More: Discrimination, gay taxi, homophobic taxi driver, US

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