Community members in Ottawa were shocked when they heard that Jer’s Vision founder Jeremy Dias had been the victim of homophobia at the hands of a BlueLine Taxi driver earlier this year.
Stateside, in Portland, Oregon, two lesbians say they were kicked out of a Broadway Cab vehicle for being affectionate, KOIN reports.
Kate Neal says she was shocked when the driver ordered her and her partner, Shankako Devoll, out of his cab on the side of Interstate 84 in the early hours of July 26. “You can’t be gay in my cab,” the driver allegedly said.
“I was initially shocked,” Neal told KOIN. “This is Portland.”
The women flagged down a police officer who gave them a ride home.
Neal and Devoll say they have hired Portland gay-rights attorney Nicholas Yanchar.
“My clients and I are still deciding the best course of action to achieve my client’s goals and [the] most favorable outcome to this situation,” KOIN reports.
Broadway Cab president Raye Miles wrote a statement on the company’s 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.”
Back here in Ottawa, Dias and the cab driver who allegedly hurled homophobic slurs appeared in provincial offences court last week. Look for the full story on that case on Daily Xtra in the coming days.