Couple Claims NJ Uber Driver Kicked Them Out Because They’re Gay
CAMDEN — A gay couple from Oaklyn said they were ordered out of their Uber vehicle after they kissed in the backseat as they headed to a Zac Brown Band concert at the BB & T Pavilion.
Kristin Michele wrote on her Facebook page that after she gave her girlfriend, Jenn Marie, a kiss on the cheek on Friday, Sept. 6, the driver pulled the car over and ordered them out. Michele then began to record the incident on her phone.
"Are you kicking me out because I'm gay," Michele asked in the video, which runs just under a minute long.
"Yes. Get out," responded the driver identified by Michele in her written post as "Cynthia."
The driver turned around and repeated the order. The video clip shows the two women arguing back and forth, including profanity by Michele, as the driver slapped the recording phone.
"This is an Uber ride. I paid you for a service," Michele said. "This is my personal car," the driver said as she turned the engine off.
"It's 2019. You're kicking me out of the car because I'm gay," Michele said, adding "You can go ahead and calling the f****** cops."
"I can reject any ride I want to. I'm calling the police," Cynthia said, as the video clip ended.
Michele told NJ.com that just before she began recording their encounter Cynthia told her she is a "Christian woman."
Since they were close to their home Michele told NJ.com the couple walked home and took a train to the concert.
Michele wrote in another post she reported the driver to Uber.
In an email Uber spokesman Grant Klinzman wrote “Uber does not tolerate discrimination in any form and we have been in contact with this rider. We removed the driver’s access to the app as soon as we were made aware of this incident.”
The driver's actions were also a violation of Uber's community guidelines by failing to take a rider to their final destination.
On its website Uber says the company believes everyone should feel supported and welcome while using their services. Discrimination against users based on race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable law is prohibited.
"Aggressive, confrontational, and harassing behavior is not allowed. Don’t use language or make gestures that could be disrespectful or threatening."
NJ.com edited the curses from the video, as seen below: