Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

CHI

Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, “A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories.” However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected “because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities.” The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

“It’s ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers,” the couple’s lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. “They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents.”

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were “making sex” in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O’Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple’s latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP…

Comments

  1. Merv says

    Upholding this principal is especially important for Taxis, because they are considered “common carriers.” Non-discrimination laws for common carriers go back hundreds of years. It’s even more fundamental than wedding photographers or cake bakers.

  2. northalabama says

    a $2k fine is not nearly enough – the driver should be suspended without pay until completion of sensitivity training, and placed on probation at work for at least a year. another related incident following probation should result in permanent loss of his commercial license.

    i hope they win the suit, and the settlement is enough to sting the cab company for not dealing with this properly the first go-’round.

  3. Bill says

    @northalabama : whether a 2K fine is sufficient depends on the income of a typical taxi driver. It would be pocket change to Donald Trump. It would be a fortune to someone making minimum wage.

  4. Bill says

    … just to clarify. I the comment above was about the driver, not the cab company. A large settlement that the cab company has to pay would encourage them to train their drivers properly, as in, “if you discriminate against our customers, it will cost us more in a settlement than you are worth as an employee. If you want to keep your job, don’t discriminate. If it costs us $100K per year in legal costs to keep you on the payroll, you better be able to bring in more than $100K in income over what a typical driver brings in.”

Leave A Reply