Women kicked out of taxi cab for being gay

8:41 AM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
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Kate Neal and her partner say they were thrown out of a cab along I-84 because they are gay.


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - Kate Neal is in disbelief after she said she and her partner were kicked out of a Broadway taxi cab on the side of Interstate 84 early Friday morning.

According to the woman, the cab driver noticed they were being affectionate with each other and started yelling homophobic comments. Neal said the driver became angry when he realized she and the woman next to her were a couple and told them, "You can't be gay in my cab."

The cab driver then pulled over and kicked Neal, her partner, and a friend out of the cab. They were left stranded on the side of the interstate around midnight.

"I was initially shocked," Kate Neal said. "This is Portland."

Broadway Cab President Raye Miles released a statement on the company's Facebook page Friday evening:

"We are aware of a recent incident where allegations have been made regarding a driver's comments and actions toward a couple riding in a taxicab. We are investigating this incident. The City of Portland has also opened their own independent investigation and Broadway Cab is cooperating fully with them. The involved driver's authority to operate has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. At this time, we cannot comment on any other specifics regarding the incident or investigation.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say that Broadway Cab is fully committed to the concept and practice of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, and diversity. This includes any form of discrimination based upon an individual's sexual orientation. We take allegations of discrimination very seriously.

"Broadway Cab is - proudly - one of the most diverse businesses around. We are diverse in every conceivable way -national origin, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identification and political affiliation, to name a few. We celebrate diversity every day. Discrimination should not, cannot and will not be tolerated.

"Thank you to the LGBTQ community for your on-going support of Broadway Cab."

The woman flagged down a police officer, who gave them a ride home.

As of Sunday, Neal's partner Shankako Devoll said they've hired an attorney to represent them in this matter. KOIN 6 News reached out to the attorney, identified as Portland gay-rights attorney Nicholas Yanchar. Here's his response: "My clients and I are still deciding the best course of action to achieve my client's goals and [the] most favorable outcome to this situation."

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