Iraq War Vet Tossed Out of Cab For Kissing Boyfriend
A Washington state gay veteran who served two tours in Iraq says he was discriminated against for kissing his boyfriend when a Yellow Cab driver tossed them out of his car on the evening of July 4.
Q13Fox.com reports that Tacoma man Eric Williams and his boyfriend Diego were headed home from downtown bar Club Silverstone on the evening of Independence Day when the shared a kiss he described as "a peck."
The driver, who said he was offended at what he felt was "something more intimate" going on in the back of his cab, reportedly asked the men what was happening.
"'You're two men, why are you kissing?'" asked the cabbie, as relayed to fox by Williams. "We said 'That's my boyfriend, I'm gay.' That's when the cabby started to get really hostile with us. He pulled off the road and told us to get out of the car, he wasn't going to serve us."
The cabbie then gave the men the boot.
"It was very shocking to me. I was just in a state of shock when I got out," said Williams. "If he's done this before or not, it doesn't really matter. It happened to the wrong person because I'm not going to stay silent. I'm going to let people know what happened so they know their rights, so they stand up for themselves."
The Advocate reports a spokesman for Yellow Cab told KCPQ that while any kind of discrimination is against company policy, "there are two sides to every story." He said that they were investigating the incident.
They have reportedly requested the footage from the cab's video camera from that evening, and said that if the footage corroborates Williams' story, they will fire the driver, who has been with the company for seven years. Although it doesn't have audio, the company said the video footage would be enough to get to the bottom of things.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common allegation. In March, EDGE reported on a Portland cab driver charged by the state Bureau of Labor and Industries after he left a lesbian couple on the side of the freeway last summer.
It's only slightly better than the cabbie EDGE reported in January 2013, who was accused of attempting to run down a gay man with his taxi while hurling anti-gay epithets to him and his five friends. Perhaps we should consider a carpool?