An Oregon lesbian couple is crying foul after allegedly being left on the side of a busy highway by a cab driver because of their sexual orientation.
Shanako M. Devoll told The Oregonian she and girlfriend Kate Neal were holding hands and kissing when their cab driver began making anti-gay remarks toward the couple.
"He made homophobic remarks that were very hurtful to us," Devoll is quoted as saying. "We did not want to be in his cab ... If people are working in customer service they need to be able to accept people for who they are.''
Worse yet, Devoll said the driver refused to drop the couple and a friend off at a safe location, instead leaving the group by the side of the freeway where, according to KOIN, they were left stranded around midnight.
“I was initially shocked,” Neal told KOIN. “This is Portland.”
Broadway Cab President Raye Miles told KOIN that the original driver of Devoll and Neal's car has been suspended pending a full investigation of the incident.
"I would like to take this opportunity to say that Broadway Cab is fully committed to the concept and practice of non-discrimination, equal opportunity and diversity,'' Miles said in a statement posted on his company's Facebook page. "We take allegations of discrimination very seriously.''
Earlier this year, a Chicago-based gay couple said they were ejected from a taxi cab under similar circumstances.
Steven White and his boyfriend Matt McCrea told CBS 2 that they were returning from Chicago's O’Hare International Airport May 30 when their cab driver forced them out of the car after what they described at the time as a quick peck on the lips.
"He indicated that it was a public mode of transportation and we shouldn’t kiss in his cab,” White recalled. "Rarely in my life have I ever wondered if I would have been treated differently if I were heterosexual. That thought hardly ever crosses my mind, but last night I wondered.”
Similarly, a gay California couple was reportedly kicked out of the Westfield Galleria mall for kissing and holding hands earlier this year after a security guard reprimanded them for the public display of affection.