Men 'kicked out of taxi for kissing'

Published Thursday, 06 March 2014
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FonaCab has issued an apology after one of its drivers reportedly kicked two men out of a taxi for kissing.

Men 'kicked out of taxi for kissing'
FonaCab banners pictured during the Belfast Pride event last year. (© Pacemaker)

The incident happened in the Elms Village area of Belfast on Tuesday evening.

Mark McLoughlin told UTV he was travelling to a nightclub in the taxi with a group of friends when one of them, a man, kissed him in the back seat.

He said the driver then pulled in on the Malone Road and ordered all the passengers to get out.

Mark explained: "We were astonished and asked was he serious and he said 'yes, get out now'.

"So all four of us had to leave - not at our destination. It was absolute disgrace and illegal. I am not trying to demonise FonaCab as I know it isn't at all a homophobic company, but rather letting people know of our unfortunate experience with this particular driver.

"We rang them after we got out and they said there would be an investigation. They said they would ring me back and apologised. I was happy enough with it and knew it was sincere."

A statement from FonaCab - which is a sponsor and supporter of the Belfast Pride festival - said the company is conducting an internal investigation into this incident.

It went on: "FonaCab is aware of an alleged incident taking place and we are continuing to conduct an internal investigation into this matter.

"We have spoken to the customer and have apologised if any offence has been caused. However, as this investigation is ongoing, it would be unfair to comment in any more detail.

"We certainly would not condone this type of behaviour in any circumstance and would not tolerate this within our organisation.

"FonaCab is totally committed to encouraging equality and diversity and eliminating discrimination in our role as an employer and a supplier of taxi services to all those living in our community.

"Breaches of our internal policies are taken very seriously and as a sponsor and supporter of Belfast Pride, we have liaised fully with the organisation regarding this particular incident."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
57 Comments
Marie in Belfast wrote (206 days ago):
Ady I suggest you do a bit more research because I'm afraid you're wrong. I could provide links but it appears that they're not allowed. Subsequently I suggest you search it. Homosexual tendencies have been observed in over 15 thousand species right down to worms!
M in Belfast wrote (206 days ago):
Ruth in Ni, the taxi driver was working which means he has to abide by the law, this includes anti discriminatory and equality legislation so whilst he is working his personal views are not relevant. He also works for a company that proudly associates itself with the gay community , that in itself makes the taxi driver look very stupid in addition to his homophobia.
Nick in Belfast wrote (207 days ago):
Having been a taxi diver who has worked for Fonacab, maybe its time you all gave the driver to give his side of the story, instead like Fonacabs outrageous policy of believing on every occasion the customer is right and thats it. This is very often far from the actual and truthful events that have taken place and customers who repeatedly abuse taxi drivers are always more than a little bit shy of telling the "whole" story. Complaints like this are deciding the future of that driver and if untrue are a bitter pill to swallow. The same students I have dealt with on many occasions, they are supposed to be out future, or leaders, politicians, doctors and academics yet the attitude to life is very often marred by their very obvious horrible attitudes and blatant disregard for anything and anyone. The treat every taxi driver they meet with disrespect and really push the limits of ones patience to extreme proportions very often leading to them being asked to get out of the taxi. They drink excessively and are sick, urinate and leave all sorts of mess in drivers cabs and frequently get away with it playing the "poor student". If society does not facilitate and accept this type of behaviour them why should taxi drivers ? Think what the taxi service provides for you and the driver stuck behind the wheel for little remittance whilst fat cats at Fonacab amongst others reap the rewards!
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (208 days ago):
@ All for one in Belfast every situation is different I have ejected Irish speakers from my cab (not for speaking Irish but for using it in an attempt to asscertain my background. Taxi drivers do have the right to refuse service and if doing so might aggravate do not have to explain why. I have also asked couples to leave for engaging in sexual activity. In certain circumstances this can be very dangerous and it others unhygienic. Would anyone like to get into a taxi that may have bodily fluids on the seat (I think not). That said I have had men kissing men and women kissing women an it does not bother me but I do tell them to put their seatbelts on (this usually stops the smootching). If the only reason that these passangers were ejected was for same sex kissing then the driver should have his license revoked. Taxi driving is about more than having a PSV and a car. There are too many people driving taxis that do not have the required personality for it. All this is before you mention the other problems like Every out of work builder and a noteable percentage of foreign nationals (with limited English and / or poor geographical knowledge) are now driving a taxi. With so many taxi badges going out is it any real wonder standards are slipping. You should support your public hire black Taxis. The professional taxi drivers as you will miss them when they are gone.
jean in belfast wrote (208 days ago):
un real im far from homaphobic but some of us are still old fashioned whether it is 2 men or 2 women or a straight couple maybe some people dont wanna watch people either kiss or make out in their car its hardly a hanging offence and dont think the driver should lose his job or be reprimanded
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