An Uber driver has been banned from the app after a woman claimed the driver kicked her and her girlfriend out of the car because they are lesbians.
Kristin Gauthier, one of the passengers in question, said she and her girlfriend, Jenn Mangan, were in Oaklyn, N.J., trying to get to a Zac Brown Band concert in Camden on Friday night, so they ordered an Uber.
Four minutes into their ride, Gauthier leaned over toward her girlfriend and said, “Let’s have a great night” before giving her a kiss on the cheek.
But the driver took offense at the show of affection, pulling over to the side of the road and telling the women they needed to get out, reports NBC Philadelphia.
“She said, ‘You’re together. You’re not allowed in my car. I’m not gonna drive you,'” Gauthier said. Gauthier also claims the driver told them she did not condone their relationship because of her Christian beliefs.
Gauthier’s girlfriend exited the car, telling the driver that, as a Catholic, she, too, was Christian.
But Gauthier stayed in the vehicle and turned on her phone to film her encounter with the irate driver.
“Are you kicking me out because I’m gay?” Gauthier repeats several times in the video.
“Yes, I am, yes,” the driver replies.
The video shows Gauthier continuing to ask the driver why she’s being kicked out of the car.
Twice, the driver reaches into the backseat and tries to swat Gauthier’s cell phone out of her hand, telling her to “get out.” Gauthier asks what is wrong with the driver, using an expletive in the process.
“This is an Uber ride. I paid you for a service,” Gauthier says.
“This is my personal car,” the driver says, adding: “I can reject any ride I want.”
The driver takes out her phone and Gauthier dares her to call police. The woman says she will, but police were never called and Gauthier eventually left the car.
Gauthier eventually complained to Uber, and on Sunday, the company confirmed that it no longer works with the driver.
“Uber does not tolerate discrimination in any form and we have been in contact with this rider,” spokesman Grant Klinzman said in a statement. “We removed the driver’s access to the app as soon as we were made aware of this incident.”
Gauthier says she’s happy about the company’s quick response and its decision to sever ties with the driver.
“I think everyone is free to their own personal opinions, however, if you are working for a company you must abide by their terms and policy,” she told NJ.com. “She should not be doing a job if she cannot abide by the policies.”
She told NBC Philadelphia she regrets the expletives she used during the altercation, but hopes that the incident will show others that discrimination against LGBTQ people is a real issue.
“People need to know that it does happen, and it’s not right,” she said.
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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com
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