Two women in a New York cab exchanged a kiss. But the cab driver was not too pleased with their demonstration of affection, telling them to stop or get out.
Television producer Christina Spitzer and her actress girlfriend, Kassie Thornton, stated that they barely exchanged a peck when their cabbie became enraged, according to the New York Post. They said that Mohammed Dahbi shouted the following during their trip from Columbus Circle to Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.
“Keep that for the bedroom or get out of the cab.”
The upset couple exited the cab, confronting him and disputing fare charges, refusing to pay the fare. That’s when things really got nasty, according to official documents, which indicate that the irate Dahbi shouted the following, calling them extremely offensive names, as reported in the New York Post.
“B****es, c**ts, [and] wh**es.”
Upset over their alleged treatment, the women contacted the Commission on Human Rights, which filed a complaint with New York City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, according to Yahoo!.
In Dahbi’s rebuttal, he indicated that the two women almost undressed in his cab on that fateful night, distracting him from driving, and that they made offensive comments regarding his ethnicity.
Dahbi told the Administrative Law Judge that Spitzer and Thornton were doing more than just G-rated kissing, stating that the pair were kissing “heavily,” and “touching all over each other,” including “on the chest and the breast.”
In rebuttal, Spitzer noted that she had some extensive dental work done and had “serious mouth trauma,” and, therefore, the make-out session Dahbi claims could not have occurred. She also stated the following, according to Yahoo!.
“We’re not the type of people who would ever use that type of language or even think that way, or behave in the way that he claims we did.”
The incident occurred in 2011, and the couple just had their day in court in March. Under New York State Law, public and private businesses are prohibited from refusing service based on sexual orientation. The judge recommended a ruling in favor of Spitzer and Thornton and awarded $5,000 in damages to each of the women. The judge also fined the city $5,000 and required Dahbi to take antidiscrimination training. Spitzer said the following, according to Yahoo!.
“The recommendation…for him to undergo some human rights training [is] for us the ultimate reward….This has never been about any money. We just want him to know that he did was wrong.”
Dahbi’s attorney, Ali Najmi, indicated that his client did not discriminate and that he has also told heterosexual couples in his cab to knock it off when their make-out sessions are too much of a distraction. He also noted that his client volunteers at a food pantry that serves gay people. He stated that Dhabi will appeal the ruling, and stated the following, according to the New York Post.
“My client never once mentioned anything about their sexuality and never threw them out of the taxi. In fact, the complaint doesn’t even allege that he said anything about their sexuality, and the two women testified that they are the ones who decided to exit the taxi.”
Because this case was brought in an administrative court, the Human Rights Commission will make the final decision as far as the merits or amount of damages.
In another civil rights case, the Colorado Civil Rights Division decided that a bakery that refused to make cakes with anti-gay messages did not discriminate.
[Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images]