Yes, you read that correctly: A cabbie in New York actually refused to drive a customer once he learned he was gay. In 2018. Don’t worry too much, though. His actions cost him quite the price—namely, a suspension period and a big fine.
As NewNowNext previously reported, the taxi driver in question, Martin Morrison, stopped for a man and a woman in midtown Manhattan around 1am on June 13, 2018. Morrison reportedly asked the male customer, Ryan Smith, if he was gay—and when he replied that he was, Morrison claimed he doesn’t usually “drive gays.” Smith then asked Morrison to let he and his friend out of the cab, so the cabbie drove across an intersection, pulled over, and let them leave.
“…I was shocked,” Smith told NBC News shortly after the incident occurred. “My head was spinning at this point. I just wanted to get us out of the back seat of this bigot’s cab.”
In fact, more than six months later, the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) heard a complaint regarding Morrison’s homophobic actions. Earlier this month, he was slammed with a 10-day suspension and a fine of more than $1,100 before he could resume driving his taxi. (He apparently tried to tell OATH judges that the incident was all a misunderstanding, to no avail.)
“The individual’s behavior in this instance was inappropriate and wholly unacceptable, and the penalties are appropriately severe,” said TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi.
TLC says Morrison has already served his suspension period, paid the fine, and is currently driving again. Here’s hoping he learned his lesson.