Same-sex couple accuse Uber driver of kicking them out for kissing

Galtero Lara
Junio 13, 2018

They claimed that the driver, Ahmad El Boutari, then booted them out of the vehicle - sparking an argument in the street.

A lesbian couple claimed they were kicked out of their Uber by their driver on Saturday after sharing a quick kiss in the backseat of the vehicle.

"Yeah, it is illegal", the driver says.

In video posted to Iovine's Facebook page, you hear the women asking the driver, "What's the issue?" "I didn't feel comfortable with them", he said. We live in this bubble and think this can't happen here in New York City. Iovine and her girlfriend Emma Pichl are still upset after being thrown from that Uber vehicle.

"We were sitting on opposite sides of the auto", she said. "That's when we started going back and forth just being like, 'What?"

Uber and the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission is investigating the incident. A confrontation ensued. In phone video taken by one of the women, the driver says kissing in an Uber is illegal. "You aren't allowed to do this". She thought he was joking, ' Iovine, an advertising technology consultant, said.

El Boutari told the Daily News that the couple had been acting "crudely" in his auto even before the kiss.

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Ms Pichl told The Post that a moment later, the driver "grabbed" her arm to get her phone out of her hand.

Just five minutes after that, Pichl said the driver "pulled the cab over and said: 'You should not do that... do not do that'". Why are we getting kicked out of the Uber?' and he said.

The women then told the driver they were filming him and asked why they were "not allowed to kiss in an Uber".

"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience", an Uber spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission, which is responsible for regulating Uber and other ride-hail apps, did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment. Alex and Emma called the Uber to take them from Gowanus to the East Village. "We've never been targeted with such prejudicial behavior" Iovine said.

According to Uber, which has a non-discrimination policy, the incident was also reported to the company by the driver. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".

Fromberg noted that the city does not regulate behaviour in Uber cars and similar services, but he called what the driver did to the women "an unacceptable and repugnant act that will not be tolerated".

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