New York Cabbie Objected to Lesbian Couple Kissing, and This Happened Next
A New York cab driver who claimed to have a “no-kissing policy” in his taxi has been ordered to pay $15,000 in fines for insisting a lesbian couple stop kissing. He was also accused of shouting rude epithets at them.
TV producer Christina Spitzer and her actress girlfriend, Kassie Thornton, said they barely exchanged a peck in the back seat early into their ride when hack Mohammed Dahbi became enraged.
“Keep that for the bedroom or get out of the cab,” Dahbi shouted during the trip from Columbus Circle to Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.
Unnerved, the couple said they got out of the cab in Chelsea, confronted Dahbi about his comment, then got into a fight about paying the fare.
That’s when he called them “bitches,” “c- -ts” and “whores,” according to official documents.
At a hearing last month, Dahbi told an unsympathetic administrative-law judge that Spitzer and Thornton were doing more than just G-rated canoodling.
He said they were kissing “heavily” and “touching all over each other” — including “on the chest and the breast.
However, Spitzer said she had just undergone oral surgery and had only lightly kissed her partner that day. She said there was also a dog and a pet carrier in the back seat with them during the cab ride, which took place on September 18, 2011.
The couple, who plan to be married in June, returned from their home in California to testify at the administrative trial in New York. It is unclear why the case took more than three years to be heard.
Thornton told the post:
Most people would just stop and not consume their lives with this anymore. But for us, it affected our entire relationship. We had just started dating, and we wanted to follow through. If everyone backed out of doing what was right, nothing would change.
Each of the women was awarded $5,000 for emotional distress. Dahbi was also order to pay a $5,000 sign directly to the city. The cab driver was found guilty of denying the women a “public accommodation due to their sexual orientation.”
Attorney Ali Najmi, who represented Dahbi, told the Post his client had requested that heterosexual couples in his taxi also stop making out when it became “too much of a distraction.”
Najmi also said Dahbi has been doing volunteer work with gay clients at a food pantry. The cabbie plans to appeal the hearing officer’s ruling.
According to Najmi:
My client never once mentioned anything about their sexuality and never threw them out of the taxi. In fact, the complaint doesn’t even allege that he said anything about their sexuality, and the two women testified that they are the ones who decided to exit the taxi.
The case was brought by New York City’s Human Rights Commission, which has final say on the amount of the fine. The agency did not respond to requests for more information