An Uber driver booted a party-hopping lesbian couple from his vehicle on Saturday after he saw them kissing in the back seat. The driver said "he asked them to stop kissing and lower the volume on their phones" and insisted "he would do the same for a straight couple, but acknowledged he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple", the News reports. "Don't fucking touch her", Iovine said.
"It's disrespectful", the livery driver says in the video. "I did what I believe is my freedom", he said.
Iovine said she has yet to receive a response from Uber, adding: 'Getting this out there, getting a refund and getting an apology is all I want right now'. Iovine and her girlfriend Emma Pichl are still upset after being thrown from that Uber auto.
During the ride, the driver pulled his vehicle over on Canal Street and ordered the women out of his auto.
The couple, who say they had been drinking but weren't drunk, recorded a cellphone video showing the driver, 35-year-old Ahmed Elbotari, booting them from his vehicle. But please don't comment on someone's appearance or ask whether they are single. "You aren't allowed to do this".
Iovine presses him to explain, asking: 'Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?'
"It's disrespectful", the 35-year-old says. The women then threatened to call the police and have the driver fired.
In the footage, Mr El Boutari says that kissing in an Uber is illegal - adding: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my vehicle".
Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick told CNN that the company has removed the driver's access to the app and that it is investigating the incident.
An Uber spokesperson said, "Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience".
Fromberg noted that the city does not regulate behaviour in Uber cars and similar services, but he called what the driver did to the women "an unacceptable and repugnant act that will not be tolerated".
In addition to filing the complaint with the city Human Right's Commission, the couple reported the incident to Uber, as did Elbotari.
"It's 2018 in New York City, and this isn't the way we live anymore", commission spokesperson Allen Fromberg said.
The women allege that the Uber driver abruptly pulled over minutes after he witnessed them kissing in the backseat as they crossed the Manhattan Bridge.
"It was a really awful experience - and ironically occurred on a bright sunny day during pride month in NYC", Iovine said.