Gay couple claims cab driver kicked them out for kissing

CHICAGO, IL -- A gay couple claims they were kicked out of a cab in Chicago, and now they've filed a complaint alleging they are victims of discrimination. Daniel Costa and Stephen Murphy say a kiss upset their cab driver.

"Dan reached over and just gave me a close peck kiss on the cheek," Murphy said.

"The taxi cab driver said to us we could not do that in his cab," Costa said.

"Obviously we were shocked," Murphy said.

In August, Costa, Murphy and a friend had just left a River North restaurant when they hopped in a Yellow Cab and headed northbound on LaSalle. Their friend was in the front seat with the cabbie, and the couple got in the back seat and kissed. According to their discrimination claim, the cabbie said: "You can't do that in here, get out and get another taxi if you want to do that!"

They said the cab stopped less than two blocks from the restaurant.

"To get in a public accommodation and be treated differently purely for a reason that we think, it's just hurtful," Murphy said.

"I knew it was wrong. I knew there were laws in place and I knew there was a way for us to come back at him," Costa said.

They snapped a picture of the cab number, and on Wednesday, attorney Ed Mullen filed a discrimination complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

"In terms of public accommodations - which is what a taxi cab is - they have to provide full and equal access to a taxi cab to anyone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity," Mullen said.

We reached out to Yellow Cab to ask about the couple's complaint, but were told their president isn't available until Thursday morning.

"I think the cab drivers and the company probably need to go under sensitivity training," Costa said.

"We basically just want other people to know that these laws exist and that if it happens, you have a right to stand up for yourself and speak up about it," Murphy said.

Mullen also plans to file a complaint by Friday with Chicago's Department of Human Rights. He says the state and city will conduct investigations, which can take a few months. Ultimately, the couple and their attorney want the cab company to do sensitivity training. null
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