Taxi Cab Driver Ordered To Pay $10,000 For Discriminating Against A Lesbian Couple
A New York City taxi cab driver must pay a lesbian couple $10,000 for discrimination.
While driving the couple, Mohammed Dahbi allegedly told the couple to save their back seat behavior for the bedroom or get out of his cab. The couple, Christy Spitzer and Kassie Thornton said Dahbi called them a series of expletives: “b—–, c—- and w—–“and they promptly got out of the cab without paying their fare.
The incident occurred four years ago when Dahbi picked up Spitzer along with her dog and then picked up Thornton, who is an actress. When Thornton was picked up, she placed her luggage in the trunk and Dahbi was set to drive to her home, located in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. During the drive, Dahbi said he was distracted and couldn’t keep his eye on the road because Spitzer and Thornton were kissing “heavily” and “touching all over each other,” reports DNAInfo.
Dahbi said their behavior was so distracting, he was afraid he would have an accident. Spitzer, a television executive, said she and Thornton gave each other a “peck on the lips” because she was healing from dental work. Her partner Thornton didn’t feel comfortable in the car after Dahbi gave the couple an ultimatum. When Dahbi didn’t receive his payment, he drove away yelling expletives.
Prior to the trial, Dhabi said the couple called him a terrorist but failed to report that during the trial. Dhabi also claimed he was not being discriminatory to the couple because he has volunteered at the Metropolitan Community Church that helps serve gay homeless people. Dhabi’s lawyer, Ali Najmi said Dhabi would have applied the same taxi cab rules to a heterosexual couple. The judge in this case noted,”The more likely reason for [Dahbi] stopping the taxicab and directing Ms. Spitzer and Ms. Thornton to stop kissing was, not that he objected to all kissing, but that he was uncomfortable with two women sharing a romantic kiss.”
Judge Spooner also order Dahbi to attend anti-discrimination training and pay an additional $5,000 civil penalty to the City Of New York. This latter decision must first be approved by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.
The couple moved to Los Angeles last year and plan to marry in June.