It’s 2019, but it sometimes feels like we’re sliding backward in terms of progressive acceptance. This is probably in some part because our president is systematically destroying protections for LGBTQ people, and pressing to make discrimination against gay people legal in businesses, housing etc. But that’s the big picture. On a smaller scale, people’s everyday safety and comfort are being disrupted by bigots, some of whom driver for Uber.
Couple Kristin Michele and Jenn Mangan were riding in an Uber on Friday night to a Zac Brown Band concert in Camden, NJ.com reports. Michele kissed Mangan on the cheek, at which point the driver stopped the car, telling them to get out.
“I said ‘I don’t understand.’ She said ‘I can’t ride with that. You kissed her,'” Michele said. “She said ‘I won’t have that.'” That’s when Michele started recording.
In the video, Michele asks, “Are you kicking me out because I’m gay?”
The driver responds, “Yes, I am. Yes. Get out,” adding that she was a Christian woman who “didn’t believe in that.”
The driver says she’s going to call the police, and is encouraged to do so by a flabbergasted Michele. She never did, and eventually the couple decided the issue would not be resolved, and got out of the car. They took the train to the concert. I probably would not have wanted to order another Uber at that point either.
The women reached out to Uber and were told that the company would address the incident, but were not told how. While a gay couple probably wouldn’t want to ride with a bigot, they should be able to expect safety in a car trip. That means not being left on the side of the road because someone has incorporated homophobia as a tenet of their religion.
On the bright side, after the couple posted the video, they say they received a huge wave of support.
“People have been nothing but supportive of our lifestyle since we started dating and they continue to support us,” said Mangan. Nice to know that there are thousands of wonderful people for every terrible one.