Gay Couple Kicked Out Of Chicago Cab For Kissing Files Lawsuit
Back in May, Steven White & Matthew McCrea shared a quick kiss on a cab ride leaving O'Hare International Airport. The smooch prompted their driver to click the indoor lights on and off before he pulled over to the shoulder of the JFK Interstate and demanded the couple exit the vehicle, despite it being late and pouring rain. The couple refused and phoned Chicago's municipal line (311) while remaining in the taxi. The driver thought that perhaps pulling off the expressway would better rid his vehicle of homosexuals, but as soon as he started to speed to the nearest exit, the 311 operator transferred the call to 911. Now parked in a lot near the interstate, the driver again demanded the same-sex couple get out of his car. Steven and Matthew refused until the dispatched police officer showed up on the scene, where another taxi was called.
"When the driver demanded that we get out of the cab, I was afraid," said Matthew McCrea. "It was late, there was a storm, we were on an expressway and I can't imagine what would have happened if the driver had actually kicked us out of the cab."
This week, five months after the horrifying incident, the couple has Lambda Legal has announced that it is suing the Sun Taxi company with help from Lambda Legal.
"A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. "What happened to Steven and Matthew was not only hurtful and unlawful, it illustrates exactly why Illinois' citizens need the state's long-standing Human Rights Act to protect them against dangerous situations like this."