Gay couple says they were kicked out of cab for kissing

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Gay couple kicked out of cab for kissing files suit
When we reached out to Yellow Cab, it gave us a surprising response to the complaint

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A same-sex couple claims they were kicked out of a cab for kissing. When we reached out to Yellow Cab, it gave us a surprising response to the complaint.

Travis Player and his partner, Andres Orozco, were dropped off Several blocks from their home in the Museum District recently.

"We thought he was joking until he actually pulled over," Player said.

A cab ride home from F Bar took the fun out of Sunday Funday for them.

"We gave each other a kiss and he told us to get out of the car," Player said.

The couple says a Yellow Cab driver kicked them out of his cab after the two started kissing, keeping it PG, in the back seat.

"The man just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn't give gay people rides," Orozco said. "And he proceeds to tell us we're going to hell for being gay."

In response to our questions, Yellow Cab sent us a statement:

"Yellow Cab immediately investigated this allegation of discrimination, including talking to the independent contractor driver. the driver stated that he would have taken the same actions if it was a man and a woman in the taxicab. Evidently, the driver was overly sensitive to passengers kissing. Yellow Cab does not have a policy about passengers showing affection in taxicabs. in fact, we encourage kissing in our taxicabs."

"The sad reality is that it is completely legal," said GLBT community advocate Noel Freeman.

Freeman says in the last six months, he's heard 4 other similar stories: gay couples getting kicked out of Yellow Cab taxis, for being affectionate.

"There are no laws in the state of Texas that protect people from discrimination in public accommodations like cabs. So someone can be kicked out of a cab because they're gay, black, because they're a woman," Freeman said.

This couple didn't pay the $6 cab fare and expect nothing from Yellow Cab, but say the company won't be getting their business in the future.

"We were expressing our love for each other and for someone else to jump in and clearly state it's not right, that really did upset me," Orozco said.

Houston passed an equal rights ordinance that could have protected Player and Orozco, but it's been challenged so right now the ordinance can't be enforced. It goes to trial in January.

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