Lesbian Couple Says They Were Kicked From Uber Over a 'Peck'

Daniel Fowler
June 13, 2018

The driver, Ahmed Elbotari, 35, wearing a wrinkled, ill-fitting undershirt and frosted sunglasses, can be seen on the recording opening the backdoor of the auto after pulling over at Canal St.to force the couple out when he eyed the lip lock.

A similar incident occurred in Houston last December, when a gay couple claimed an Uber driver dropped them off at the side of a freeway after they kissed in his auto.

The women say that the driver soon pulled over, opened the doors, and said, "You should not do that". It was during the ride just over the Manhattan Bridge when the couple says the incident began.

During the ride, the driver pulled his vehicle over on Canal Street and ordered the women out of his auto. "I didn't feel comfortable with them", he said. "We always thought we lived in this untouchable New York City bubble where LGBTQ is so accepted", Ms Pichl said.

"And then he opened the auto doors", she said.

In an interview with NBC New York, Iovine admitted that their exchange "turned into anger, which we are not proud of".

"I think we are going to steer clear of Uber for a bit", Pichl said. A confrontation ensued. In phone video taken by one of the women, the driver says kissing in an Uber is illegal.

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

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The organisation's spokesman Allen Fromberg said the driver's behaviour - which involved calling his passengers "disrespectful" and repeatedly insisting that they were breaking the law - was "ridiculous", according to the Associated Press.

El Boutari told the Daily News that the couple had been acting "crudely" in his vehicle even before the kiss. "Why are we getting kicked out of the Uber?' And he said, 'That's illegal.'" Eyewitness News tried to reach out to the driver but was unable to locate him. "Don't f***ing touch her", Ms Iovine is heard saying in the clip.

"I think, for both us, it was just a shock, not really knowing what to say", Pichl said. The pair had ordered the taxi to take them from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Hendrick said that the driver had reported the incident as well. "This goes to show that it can happen anywhere".

Following reports of the incident, Uber refunded the women their $22 fare and issued an apology.

"The blatantly discriminatory behavior described by the complainant is repugnant", said the spokesman.

The company responded with a statement saying: 'Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience.

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