Uber CEO slams driver who booted lesbian couple over kiss

While the women initially thought the man was joking they soon realised that he meant what he was saying

Two women say an Uber driver kicked them out of his auto after they shared a quick kiss in the backseat, the New York Daily News reported on Monday.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission identified the driver as Ahmad El Boutari, reported WABC-TV.

Iovine and her girlfriend Emma Pichl are still upset after being thrown from that Uber auto. The couple was heading back to Manhattan on Saturday after celebrating a friend's birthday at a Brooklyn bar.

A lesbian couple claimed they were kicked out of their Uber by their driver on Saturday after sharing a quick kiss in the backseat of the auto. "At one point we leaned over and pecked kiss, very fast", Ms Pichl told The Post on Monday. "That's genuinely all it was". 'You can't do this in the auto.

"We were sitting on opposite sides of the auto", Iovine said.

She said they had only "peck kissed" and were "not even touching" but that Mr El Boutari had been "very angry". "But that's not what was going on here".

Speaking to the New York Post, Pichl recounted what happened, saying: "We got over the Manhattan Bridge into the city".

The women say that the driver soon pulled over, opened the doors, and said, "You should not do that. You don't do that". A confrontation ensued. In phone video taken by one of the women, the driver says kissing in an Uber is illegal.

"Kissing is not illegal", one of the women replies. "You don't do that here in the auto".

Shortly afterwards the taxi driver, Ahmad El Boutari, pulled over and said: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my auto".

After some back and forth, El Boutari apparently grabbed Pichl by the arm to get her phone.

"It's 2018 in New York City and this isn't the way we live any more".

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Iovine told the Daily News that Uber did not respond to her complaint until the newspaper reported the incident. He said they played loud videos on their phones and that one of the women put her feet up on the seats.

"It's my own vehicle, I didn't feel comfortable with them", Elbotari said. "I didn't feel comfortable with them", he told the newspaper, adding that he asked the couple to stop kissing.

"Obviously, he's homophobic", she said. "He started aggressively coming at us". Elbotari said that he would do the same for a straight couple, but admitted that he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple.

Both Alex and the driver submitted complaints about the incident to Uber.

Uber refunded the $22 fare and apologized to her for the inconvenience.

"We've reached out to the victim, and will be starting the investigation today", Deputy Commissioner Allan Fromberg told the newspaper.

Iovine says the two are aware of Uber's policy against riders having sex in the backseat, but that the kiss was far from objectionable.

Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick told CNN that the company has removed the driver's access to the app and that it is investigating the incident.

RAW VIDEO: Uber says it does not tolerate discrimination and is investigating.

Iovine and Emma Pichl were taking the Uber from Pig Beach Gowanus to the East Village on Saturday when Iovine gave Pichl a kiss.

"It's an unfortunate circumstance and we will do everything we can for that not to repeat".

"We kind of keep to ourselves".

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