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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 28, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 52
NYC suspends and fines cabbie for refusing to carry Gay passengers
Section One
ALL STORIES
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NYC suspends and fines cabbie for refusing to carry Gay passengers

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

New York City authorities have suspended and fined a cab driver who refused to carry a Gay passenger.

According to the New York Post, Martin Morrison, a Yellow Cab driver, picked up one man and one woman at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 43rd Street in Manhattan just after 1:00 a.m. on June 13, 2018.

For some reason, he asked the man if he was Gay. When the man replied that he was, Morrison told the pair that he didn't drive Gay people. He then crossed through the intersection and pulled over. The customers said they were shocked by Morrison's statement, got out of the cab, and found another ride.

The passengers subsequently filed a complaint with the City's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the agency charged with overseeing cabs within New York City limits.

The TLC ruled that Morrison's behavior went against the policies and values of the agency, and constituted three separate violations: unjustified refusal of service, discourtesy, and performing an act against the best interest of the public. He was suspended for 10 days and fined $1,150.

'The individual's behavior in this instance was inappropriate and wholly unacceptable, and the penalties are appropriately severe,' said TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi.

Morrison appealed the TLC ruling to the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), saying that it was all a misunderstanding, that he never asked anyone if they were Gay, and he didn't know why the pair left his cab.

OATH, however, affirmed the TLC ruling.

'Here, after repeatedly and discriminatorily confirming that the (complainant's) friend was Gay...respondent indicated that he does not drive Gay men,' wrote administrative law judge Fidel Del Valle for OATH.

Morrison has already served his suspension and paid the fine, and is back on the road, TLC officials confirmed.

Like New York City, Seattle also has ordinances and city policies protecting its LGBT community, and Washington state law clearly forbids anti-LGBT discrimination in public accommodations, like taxis and limousines.

Complaints can be filed with the City of Seattle Human Rights Commission or with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

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NYC suspends and fines cabbie for refusing to carry Gay passengers
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