HOUSTON – A Houston couple said an Uber driver dropped them off on the feeder road after they gave each other a kiss inside the car. The couple believes they were targeted because they’re gay.
Randall Magill, 28, and his fiancé Jose Chavez, 26, were engaged earlier this month in the Dominican Republic. The couple said they were attending a holiday get together at a friend’s home.
They said they had been drinking and wanted to be responsible, so got an Uber. They allege everything was fine, until they went in for a kiss.
“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.
He said the driver had a mini-van and they were in two separate seats that were divided by an aisle.
“I’ve never heard of anyone being asked to stop kissing anywhere, especially when you’re just peck on the lips,” Magill said.
He claims the driver told them he told a straight couple to stop kissing before them, but Magill and Chavez said they don’t believe that.
“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 couple said they had to walk under the interstate bridge and to the other side of the Southwest Freeway to call another Uber to take them home.
“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.”
A representative for Uber said both the rider and driver reported the incident. They said they are investigating and will take appropriate action.
The company says it has a clear nondiscrimination policy:
• 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.
Uber’s Community Guidelines state when it comes to physical contact with driver and fellow drivers, “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.”