Most people would be happy if a Lyft driver just doesn’t say anything at all. But for the times when there is conversation, it usually doesn’t go the route of blatant and egregious homophobia.
Greg Alexander, a gay man in Washington, D.C., claims that his Lyft driver told him he was “going to burn in hell,” after being picked up at the Newseum following an exhibition about the Stonewall riots, the Washington Blade reports. Alexander attended the dinner as a guest of the Blade, which was a sponsor.
Alexander says the driver asked him where he was coming from and Alexander proceeded to talk to him about Stonewall and gay rights.
“Gay rights? What is that? Is this a new movement?” Alexander says the driver asked. “There is no need for gay rights.”
Alexander alleges that, as they approached his apartment, the driver asked him, “Has anyone ever told you that God loves you?” The driver allegedly began reciting Bible verses and asking that he accept Christ as his savior.
“I started getting very nervous and felt unsafe,” Alexander told the Blade. Alexander then said the driver would not open the door until he prayed with him. Alexander refused and asked the driver what he thought would happen to him as a gay man.
“You will burn in hell,” Alexander says the driver replied. “God loves everyone, but he hates your sin.”
Alexander filed a complaint with Lyft after the incident and didn’t hear back from them until Tuesday, after the Blade published a story about the incident.
According to Campbell Matthews, a Lyft communications manager, the driver in question has been terminated. In a statement, Matthews called the driver’s behavior “absolutely unacceptable.”
“Safety is our top priority and there is no place in our community for harassment or discrimination of any kind,” Matthews said. “We have permanently banned the driver from the Lyft platform and reached out to the passenger to offer our support."
In order for a driver to be approved to drive Lyft, they must first agree to its Terms of Service, which prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as race, religion, gender identity, medical status, and more.
This is the second alleged incident of homophobia among rideshare drivers in the Washington, D.C. area in the last month. The Blade previously reported that on February 16, an Uber driver asked a gay passenger to leave the car after he mentioned that he had a husband.