The Philadelphia Commission on Human
Relations has fined a dispatch company $500 over an incident
involving a gay couple being thrown out of a cab.
According to The Philadelphia
Inquirer, Mark Seaman and his partner were kicked out of a cab
after Seaman kissed his partner on the top of the head as they
departed from Philadelphia International Airport.
“You cannot do that in here,” the
cabdriver told the couple before throwing the men out of the cab,
according to Seaman.
The incident occurred on a late
December night eight years ago.
“I just remember thinking, 'Gee, what
a nice welcome home to Philadelphia,” Seaman
The commission, which enforces the
city's fair practices ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation, has ordered PHL Taxi to pay Seaman
$500. The ruling is the first to hold a taxi dispatch company
accountable for the discriminatory conduct of a driver.
The 34-year-old Seaman, who has since
moved to Washington, D.C., said that he filed his complaint with the
commission less than a week after the incident took place.
“I am disappointed and perplexed
about why it took eight years. And I've never been offered an
explanation,” he said.
Ronda B. Goldfein represented Seaman in
“There's a significant win here for
people who are taking cabs in Philadelphia,” Goldfein said.