GAY global news

Justice for gay friends ejected from Philadelphia taxi

Written by gaytourism

Discriminated against: Michael Rios and his friend were travelling home when driver ejected them. Photo: @mikerioshbg Instagram

A Philadelphia taxi driver has been fined and suspended, after he kicked two gay friends out of his cab.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority took the action following a complaint against the driver, Daman Sacko.

Taxi drama: Gay couple ordered out of cab by driver.

Joel Bautista and Michael Rios, were passengers in Sacko’s cab, returning from an evening out in March.

The pair were ejected from the cab after Sacko overhead them discussing their loves lives and Lasik surgery, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Sacko allegedly told them he didn’t want ‘gay sh*t’ in his car, pulled over to the kerb and ordered them out.

Rios managed to take a picture of Sacko’s driver certificate as they were being ejected.

The next day he reported the incident to the PPA, who took up the matter.

‘We received his complaint at 10am and by 2:30, we had the cabbie in here for an interview,” says Christine Kirlin, head of the PPA’s Taxi and Limousine Division. ‘We took this very seriously.’

The PPA was able to confirm the cab’s movements using information it retrieved from the GPS system on taxi driver’s cab.

Cab driver kept changing his story

The parking authority also said the driver kept changing his story as to why he ordered the men out of the cab. Initially, he said Bautista and Rios had ‘talked dirty’ in the cab. Then he accused them of propositioning him. Then he said the men asked him to pull over early and then refused to pay their fare.

The two friends said they didn’t want to strip the driver of his livelihood.

‘In the beginning, we didn’t want to interfere with his livelihood; We just wanted him to know that what he did was wrong,’ Rios told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

‘But when we heard about the lies he was telling, we said, ‘No, we want to go to court.’’

The PPA issued Sacko a citation in March, which he appealed. At his administrative hearing in July, hearing officer Sheldon Jelin found in favor of the PPA, fined Sacko $175 in fines and fees and suspended his driver’s certificate for 30 days.

Earlier this week a gay couple were ejected from an Alaska Airlines flight for refusing to give up their seats for a married heterosexual couple.

The US airline has faced a huge backlash over the alleged discrimination against the gay men. One of the passengers, David Cooley, is the owner of a popular upscale gay bar in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

See also:

Elton John slams Russia for ‘discrimination against gays’

Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .