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Uber driver asks gay couple to stop kissing
Via Instagram @finndavies

‘Don’t do that, I’m Christian’: Uber driver asks gay men to stop kissing

Finn Davies was taking a taxi through London when the homophobic remark was made

Uber has faced its fair share of criticism over the years – there was the time one of its self-driving cars killed someone, the campaign to #DeleteUber after it tried to profit off a strike against Trump’s Muslim ban, and – of course – its numerous sexual harassment allegations. Now, one of the ride-hailing app’s drivers has asked two gay men to stop kissing.

In the early hours of Sunday morning (January 26), Finn Davies was taking an Uber home with a man he’d met at a party in London’s West End, when the driver opposed their display of affection, citing her faith as the reason.

“We got in the car and said hello (to the driver), then the guy (Davies’ companion) and I spoke pretty much all the way to the first stop, which was his stop,” Davies tells Dazed. “About five minutes before we were due to stop, we shared a kiss and the driver said: ‘Don’t do that please, I’m Christian’. I was quite taken aback – it made me feel dirty, which it really shouldn’t.”

Davies explains that it was the woman’s reference to her religion that made him especially uncomfortable in the situation. “I thought, ‘so it’s just because we’re gay. If we were a straight couple, she wouldn’t have said she was Christian’. The Bible isn’t against kissing – even in cars – so by the power of deduction, it had to be that she was a homophobe. It’s all well and good citing a religion, but I wonder if she avoids shellfish or reprimands people for braiding their hair, because you can’t do either of those things according to the Bible. You can’t pick and choose otherwise you’re a bigot.” 

The pair sat in silence for the rest of the journey while quietly exchanging texts, and deciding to get out at the same stop so Davies didn’t have to be alone with the driver. “I wanted to (challenge her), but I have a bit of a fear of confrontation so I just sat there shaking, but I left so angry.” Having been unable to confront the driver, Davies decided to tweet about the incident, “because I have a following of a lot of other gays so I wanted to know people’s opinions on it”. 

The next morning, he posted: “Last night, I got an Uber home with a boy and had a smooch in the back, en route. Mid-smooche, the @UberUK driver asked us to stop because she was Christian. That’s not acceptable, right?!” Davies explains that his tweet got a mixed reception. “A number of people agreed with me that it was wrong,” he says, “but (some said that) kissing someone in the back of a taxi – be it a man or a woman – is in bad taste, which actually I would agree with, but then there are a bunch of worse things I could be doing.”

“It’s all well and good citing a religion, but I wonder if she avoids shellfish or reprimands people for braiding their hair, because you can’t do either of those things according to the Bible” – Finn Davies

While many of us don’t love other people’s public displays of affection, there’s no doubt it was wrong of the Uber driver to ask LGBTQ+ passengers to censor themselves because it offends her faith. 

In a response from Uber, posted to Davies’ Twitter account, the app (partially) agreed. “You should never be made to feel uncomfortable during a trip using the Uber app,” a spokesperson wrote, “and we expect all partner drivers and riders to remain respectful.” Uber said they will be “following up” with the driver to “ensure the experience” described by Davies “can’t happen again”, but never issued a direct apology to the couple, instead just refunding the fare for the trip.

Davies’ experience comes just months after a study found that Uber and Lyft drivers cancel journeys with LGBTQ+ riders twice as frequently as with straight passengers. 

“I will definitely think twice about using Uber again,” Davies concludes. “This could be an isolated incident, though I doubt that it is – they get so much bad press, but don’t do anything about (problems experienced by riders). I would really like an apology.”