A gay couple has filed a human rights complaint against a Chicago-area taxi company after being told to leave a Sun Taxi cab by a driver for kissing. According to Reuters on October 29, Matthew McCrea, 30, of Chicago, and Steven White, 29, of West Hollywood say they were told to leave the cab on a rainy night after exchanging just a brief kiss.
The couple filed the complaint at the Illinois Department of human rights despite the driver being fined and fired by the company. They feel something more needed to be done to assure other gay couples didn’t receive the same type of treatment.
In a phone interview McCrea told Reuters:
“We’re doing this because what happened to us isn’t right, and we want to make sure other people, if they find themselves in this situation, they know it’s not OK.”
The incident, which took place in May, led the driver of the cab to a fine of $1,540 by Chicago’s cab-regulatory agency. The driver not only tried to kick the couple out of the cab but also began driving “recklessly” after they refused to leave the cab. The driver told an officer that both McCrea and White were “making sex” but they feel the driver was being discriminatory and making an assumption.
The complaint does ask for unspecified compensation but even more so, it has led to further action by Sun Taxi. The company is now holding classes for its drivers on how to provide quality and non-discriminatory customer service.
Gay couples have received similar treatment in other parts of the country. In Oregon, a lesbian couple were kicked out of a cab for getting affectionate, and in New Mexico, a gay couple was told to get off of a shuttle bus because they were holding hands.