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'Portland Taxi' driver berates LGBT bar patrons with bullhorn

Portland Taxi says its okay if gays don't want to take their cabs.
Photo credit:
KATU Portland

PORTLAND, Ore., --A nighttime convergence of friends outside a gay club in Oregon was interrupted by a taxi driver form Portland Taxi on Tuesday night.

The cabbie stopped his company vehicle outside Scandals in SW Portland at about 10 am, and began berating club goers with anti-gay speech.

Eyewitness and patron Ty Raia told local new station KATU, “He came out of the cab wearing a ‘God loves you’ shirt and I thought, this should be interesting. He went to his trunk and pulled out a bullhorn.”

The driver’s rant included telling the group that they were all going to hell, but he could help them should they wish to abandon their “difficult lifestyle,” according to reports.

“I think it’s sad more than anything else,” Raia said.

Employees at Scandal asked the man to leave while Raia reached for his cellphone, snapping a picture of the verbal assailant and posting it to Facebook.

Another person called the cab company, but Raia says the business responded to the complaint by saying they didn’t care, and their driver was using his First Amendment Right, and they would not reprimand him. 

Portland news channel KATU reached out to the company themselves and got the same feedback as the bar patron.

“If the gays don’t want to use our company, that’s better for us,” they told the reporter.

Many in the community have heard about the incident and want to boycott the company.

“They have openly expressed they are OK with queers not using their company so maybe that's what we should do,” Raia said.

This isn’t the first time Portland Taxi has been accused of being homophobic.

KATU had a reporter last March who used the company’s taxi service from the airport, but the driver refused to take money for the trip telling the employee he should be in jail because he’s gay.

You can watch KATU's video report of the bar incident HERE.