News | Local

State Regulators Find Evidence Of Discrimination In Taxi Case

OPB | March 4, 2014 4:33 p.m. | Updated: March 5, 2014 7:08 a.m. | Portland

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State regulators have found evidence of discrimination against a same-sex couple that a taxi driver dropped off on the side of a freeway last summer.

Kate Neal and Shanako Devoll called a Broadway Cab to take them from downtown Portland to their home in Northeast Portland.

In a complaint to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, they said the driver yelled at them, saying it was not okay to be gay in his cab. Neal said she tried to defuse the situation by asking the driver to stop in a safe place and let them out, but to no avail.

BOLI spokesman, Charlie Burr, says his agency has been working to get the two sides to talk.

“So far they have not been able to reach an agreement through conciliation, so now the case has moved to our administrative prosecution unit,” Burr said.

Calls to Broadway Cab weren’t immediately returned, but a Facebook post says the company values diversity and is investigating the incident.

BOLI says that under Oregon law, people can’t be denied service based on sexual orientation. It says the law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but not for private business owners.

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