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Portland Taxi Company Supports Driver Who Yelled Homophobic Slurs At Gay Bar Patrons

“If the gays don’t want to use our company, that’s better for us."

A Portland cab driver pulled up outside a gay bar in Portland, Oregon, this week and yelled anti-gay slurs on a bullhorn. But when customers complained to Portland Taxi Cab Company, they were told the driver had the company’s blessing.

Ty Raia was at Scandals bar around 10pm Tuesday night when a Portland Taxi driver pulled up, pulling out a bullhorn and barking slurs at him and his friends.

“He came out of the cab wearing a ‘God loves you’ shirt and I thought, this should be interesting,” Raiatold KATU Channel 2.

The man told the group they were all going to hell, but that he could help get them get out of their “difficult lifestyle.”

Said Raia, “I think it’s sad more than anything else.”

Portland has a reputation as being queer-friendly, but when a customer called Portland Taxi to complain, “he was told they didn’t care.”

When KATU News called the company for comment they were told there would be no disciplinary action against the driver.

“If the gays don’t want to use our company, that’s better for us.”

A KATU employee recounted how, on a ride home from the airport, his driver refused payment and told him “he should be in jail because he was gay.”

The cabbie in Tuesday’s incident has not been named, but it’s believed to be Daniel Svoboda, who was once caught trying to tear down a Pride flag from outside a different gay bar.

daniel svoboda
Portland Police Department

“I drive a cab for Christ at Portland taxi and I am a bible-thumping street preacher,” reads Svoboda’s Facebook profile.

Last May, police found him atop on a drainage pipe 12 feet off the ground outside Silverado on SW 3rd Ave.

He was taken for a medical evaluation and then arrested on suspicion of third-degree theft.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery