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Lyft driver throws gay couple out of car for kissing

Lyft driver throws Indianapolis gay couple out of car for kissing.
Photo credit:
Flickr - Tony Webster

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ridesharing services are a great way to make a little extra money, the problem is the independent contractors who are signing on aren’t always so accepting of their passengers.

One Lyft driver in Indianapolis is the latest driver who allegedly let his personal beliefs get in the way of his service by making a gay couple get out of his vehicle because they kissed reports the Indy Star 

College students Ben Martella and Alec Jansen say they were asked to get out of the car at a stop light after giving each other a small kiss in the back seat. 

“We basically pecked, nothing out of the ordinary,” Martella explained. “He looked in his rearview mirror. He was yelling. We were stunned. We didn’t know the reason for it. He said, ’I’m going to end your ride. I can’t have that in my car. I don’t have that here.'”

Martella says he got emotional, “I was really upset, It was a big reaction for such a small display of affection between two guys.”

We gave each other a short kiss on the lips,” Jansen added. “I was just surprised the whole thing happened. It just didn’t seem like it was real.”

Jansen says he just came out a couple of weeks ago, “This is the first time I’ve had any sort of discrimination.”

The men notified corporate of the incident. They say the company gave them a “very impersonal” email response, refunded their money and had taken “the appropriate and necessary actions.” 

Both Uber and Lyft have strict anti-discrimination policies for their drivers and say they have "deactivated" the couple's driver. 

The services make it clear from the beginning that drivers are to be inclusive, the companies have faced accusations that some of their drivers are homophobic.

Back in 2016 a local drag entertainer, Davina Love, said he was kicked out of an Uber for being in full drag. And more recently a Houston gay couple were kicked out of their ride after the driver saw them kiss.

Martella would like to file a complaint with the ACLU, “I don’t know if that’s the right path to take,” he said. “There’s really nothing I need out of the situation. It’s my fear for others.”