Randall Magill and his fiancé Jose Chavez believe they were the victims of discrimination after they were forcibly kicked out of an Uber. The Houston couple were allegedly dropped off on the side of a freeway after kissing in the car, according to Click2Houston.com.
The two, who were celebrating their recent engagement in the Dominican Republic, had been attending a holiday party and decided to take a car instead of driving home, considering they had been drinking. When they kissed, an argument between the passengers and the driver broke out. The driver supposedly told them to stop.
“I wasn't doing anything that I wouldn't have done in public. I’m not going to embarrass myself or my fiancé by any means,” Magill said. “I’ve never heard of anyone being asked to stop kissing anywhere, especially when you’re just peck on the lips."
The driver told his passengers that he had instructed straight couples to stop kissing as well, although Magill and Chavez said they don't believe that line.
“He said, 'I can’t take you no more.' He was like, 'I’m going to have to drop you guys off,' and we said, 'That’s fine,'” Chavez said. “I was upset. I’ve never been told not to kiss or anything.”
“He proceeds to pull off the freeway, not in any safe space place or anything, leaves us on the corner of 59 and New Castle, right next to the concrete sound barrier,” Magill said.
The pair had to walk under the interstate bridge to find another car.
“I’ve never had a bad experience with Uber, this was probably, I’ll never use them again,” said Magill. “I was super disappointed. Everyone I have ever ridden with has been very nice, very respectful. Even the ones I could tell were not so comfortable with carrying us, they were very respectful.”
Uber now says it's investigating the incident following the reports made by both the driver and the passenger.
“This is very concerning to us and we take these types of reports seriously,” a spokeswoman said, noting the company plans on taking "appropriate action" when an investigation is completed.
Uber's policy on non-discrimination is clear: "Uber seeks to ensure that safe, reliable, and high-quality transportation options are available to everyone. Uber and its affiliates therefore prohibit discrimination against riders or drivers based on race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. Such discrimination includes, but is not limited to, refusing to provide or accept services based on any of these characteristics. Any rider or driver found to have violated this prohibition will lose access to the Uber platform," reads the terms of service.
Its community guidelines around physical contact between passengers are only slightly more ambiguous: “As our community guidelines make clear, you shouldn’t touch or flirt with other people in the car. As a reminder, Uber has a no sex rule. That’s no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what. And you should never hit or otherwise hurt a driver or fellow passenger.”
The Huffington Post noted that Uber fired a driver in 2016 after he made homophobic comments to passengers.
[Photo: Screenshot via KPRC]