A Belfast cab firm that sponsors the city’s Gay Pride event has apologised after one of its taxi drivers allegedly ordered two men to get out of the car after they kissed.
The men were among a group of students being taken to gay nightclub The Kremlin on Tuesday night when the driver told them to ‘stop’ as the two kissed in the back seat.
One of the pair, Mark McLoughlin, told BBC Radio Ulster the driver swore at them when his friend kissed him on the cheek and neck.
“We were stunned,” he said.
“We said: ‘Are you serious?’ And he said: ‘Yes, I’m not having that in my car’.
“So we just got out and left and stood at the side of the road and flagged down another taxi, but we rang fonaCAB (to complain).
“I couldn’t believe it in this day and age, over something so small.”
Mark added that the two female passengers who had shared their taxi from Queen’s Elms and saw what happened were “very upset” and one began to cry.
He said they were asked to get out of the taxi on Belfast’s Malone Road.
In a statement taxi firm fonaCAB said they were sorry for any offence that was caused, adding that the company is carrying out an internal investigation into what happened, and had spoken with Belfast Pride about what is said to have taken place.
“We have spoken to the customer and have apologised if any offence has been caused,” said the statement.
“We certainly would not condone this type of behaviour in any circumstance and would not tolerate this within our organisation.”
The firm said it is dedicated to ending discrimination and supplies taxis to all members of the community.
“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.”