A couple in Portland, Ore., are claiming a cab driver kicked them out halfway to their destination due to their sexual orientation.
Kate Neal and her girlfriend Shanako Devoll, as well as a third passenger, hailed the Broadway Cab from downtown Portland on Thursday evening.
About 15 minutes into the trip, the driver became angry.
Neal said of the incident:
The cab driver saw us being affectionate and took offense to that. He started shouting really hurtful, mean and really homophobic remarks at us. We really didn't feel safe in the cab [...] I feel sad. I feel vulnerable. It was a very humiliating experience. I'm a little angry obviously and I feel bad. I feel sad for the cab driver really.
The cab driver reportedly pulled over and let the women out on Interstate 84. According to Neal, another Broadway Cab came to pick them up, but refused to take them home.
The Broadway Cab company issued this statement on their Facebook page:
We are aware of a recent incident where allegations have been made regarding a driver's comments and actions toward a couple riding in a taxicab. We are investigating this incident. The City of Portland has also opened their own independent investigation and Broadway Cab is cooperating fully with them. The involved driver's authority to operate has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. At this time, we cannot comment on any other specifics regarding the incident or investigation.
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. This includes any form of discrimination based upon an individual's sexual orientation. We take allegations of discrimination very seriously.
Broadway Cab is – proudly – one of the most diverse businesses around. We are diverse in every conceivable way –national origin, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identification and political affiliation, to name a few. We celebrate diversity every day. Discrimination should not, cannot and will not be tolerated.
Thank you to the LGBTQ community for your on-going support of Broadway Cab.