A New York City cabbie told two lesbians who were kissing in the back seat of his cab to knock it off or get out; now that decision is costing him $15,000, DNA Info is reporting.
An administrative judge issued the ruling last month, but news of the decision is only now being covered in the media.
On September 18, 2011, cabbie Mohammed Dahbi picked up Christy Spitzer and her dog, then went down the road to pick up Spitzer’s partner, Kassie Thornton. Thornton, who had just returned from a trip, put her luggage in the trunk then got in the back seat, as the cabbie proceeded to drive them to their destination.
The two women began kissing, and Dahbi allegedly told the two to “keep that [activity] in the bedroom or get out of the cab.” When the two women chose to get out of the cab, they refused to pay the cabbie. He unleashed a stream of obscenities at the women, including calling them “b*****s,” “c***s,” and “whores,” according to The New York Post.
The couple, who now lives in California, took their complaint to New York’s Human Rights Commission. Thornton explains why she chose to pursue a legal complaint instead of letting the matter drop.
“Most people would just stop and not consume their lives with this anymore. But for us, it affected our entire relationship. We had just started dating, and we wanted to follow through. If everyone backed out of doing what was right, nothing would change.”
At the trial, the cabbie claimed that the two women were behaving in a grossly inappropriate manner, kissing heavily and touching each other’s breasts. He also claimed that the women’s sexuality didn’t play any role in his decision to evict them from the cab. Rather, says his lawyer, Ali Najimi, the cabbie has also asked amorous straight couples to tone it down while in his cab.
“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.”
Judge John Spooner didn’t buy the cabbie’s side of the story and ruled that he violated the lesbian couple’s human rights. He’s been ordered to pay $5,000 to each woman, plus another $5,000 to the Human Rights Commission.
Do you believe the judge made the right decision in ordering the cabbie to pay a fine for his behavior toward his lesbian passengers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Ivakoleva]