Muslim taxi driver ordered to pay lesbian couple $10k for telling them to stop kissing

Published: April 14, 2015


NEW YORK: A Muslim cab driver has been ordered to pay a lesbian couple $10,000 for telling them to stop kissing in the back of his taxi, a city judge ruled last month. 

Mohammed Dahbi, a yellow cab driver in New York City was accused of discriminating against the couple over their sexual orientation by ordering them to “keep that [behaviour] for the bedroom or get out of the cab.”

The passengers, Christy Spitzer and Kassie Thornton were reportedly abused with foul language being called names when they decided to get out of the taxi without paying.

The taxi driver was also ordered to attend anti-discrimination training and to pay a $5,000 civil penalty to the city. However, the city’s Commission on Human Rights, which brought the complaint against Dahbi on behalf of Spitzer and Thornton, still must approve the judge’s decision.



“We felt that what happened to us was wrong and he needed to take responsibility for his actions,” Spitzer, a TV executive, told DNAinfo New York on Friday.

The incident occurred on September 18, 2011, after Spitzer and her dog climbed into Dahbi’s cab at Columbus Circle and drove south to pick up Thornton in Chelsea. When they arrived in Chelsea, Thornton, who had been traveling, put her luggage in the taxi’s trunk, and Dahbi began driving them to Thornton’s home in Sunset Park.

The women testified at the trial that, at West 15th Street in the Meatpacking District, the cab driver told them to stop kissing and “save that behavior for the bedroom.”

Dhabi, during the hearing claimed that he couldn’t  keep his eyes on the road and was distracted because Spitzer and Thornton were kissing “heavily” and “touching all over each other.”

Dahbi further told the judge that he found their behavior “distracting” and feared it would make him have an accident.

Spitzer and Thornton both testified at the trial that they had just kissed each other with a “peck on the lips.”

Spitzer also told DNAinfo that she was certain it was only a light peck because she had just had massive dental work done.

“That’s why I’m so aware of what my behavior was in the taxi,” she informed.

After Dahbi gave his ultimatum to get out of the taxi, Thornton told him that he was discriminating against them because they were gay, according to the decision.

“Don’t make me out to be an a–hole,” Dahbi responded to her, the decision said.

Thornton told the judge that after that comment she didn’t feel comfortable, so she got out of the cab, grabbed her luggage and left.

Spitzer followed shortly after with her dog, according to the decision.

When the women refused to pay him the fare to that point, he hurled expletives at them and sped away.

Dahbi, a married father of four who has been a cabbie for the past 17 years, said at his trial that he was not discriminating against the women because they were gay.

He further told the judge that for the last few weeks he had been volunteering at a food pantry for a charity called Metropolitan Community Church, which served many gay homeless individuals.

Shocked at the news, many took to social media to express their views and concerns about the taxi driver’s alleged behaviour.

This article originally appeared on DNAinfo

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Whiskey Khan
    Apr 14, 2015 - 7:44PM

    If you are in Public service, you should be aware of rights and responsibilities, especially in liberal societies. Using derogative and discriminative language is unacceptable. He got what de deserved. Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Apr 14, 2015 - 9:10PM

    He’s paid to drive people to their destination – not impose his religious views on his passengers. Recommend

  • Pappu
    Apr 14, 2015 - 10:00PM

    He was not imposing his religious views on anyone. If I start having sex on the London tube, I will be asked to alight and will probably be arrested. He asked them to do the same thing.

    Poor guy had a bad lawyer, that’s all. Recommend

  • Apr 14, 2015 - 10:48PM

    This is a CAB. It takes you from point A to point B.
    If he said he don’t care about your sexual orientation, then that’s probably it because there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.
    You don’t own the cab, the cabbie does. So if I were him, I’d tell you right there that whatever the heck your orientating-I don’t really care because it doesn’t concern me.
    Get a life. It’s all for the money and attention I’m guessing. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 14, 2015 - 11:24PM

    Cab is to get from point A to point B, not to act like lunatic sex maniacs. He warned them several times. If he was biased towards gays, he would have asked them to leave the first time they kissed. The Lesbians only wanted free money and to embarrass the Muslim. It’s a discrimination towards Muslims not towards lesbians. I’m sure if a hetrosexual couple were making babies in the back seat of his car, he would be just as upset.Recommend

  • Yaldram
    Apr 15, 2015 - 1:54AM

    So white man is all cool and fine when they want to kiss and smooch in public. They consider it as their freedom, but when it comes to veil and Muslims they have different standards. Hypocrites they are and double standards. It was job of their parents to in fact tell them how to behave in public not taxi driver, but wait they will be rotting in old homes. Feel for the poor chap who only told them what are ethics and how to behave in public.Recommend

  • woody
    Apr 15, 2015 - 2:11AM


    The Lesbians only wanted free money
    and to embarrass the Muslim.

    No – they wanted a ride without commentary on religion from the cab driver – something every American should expect. If he wants to promote his religion – find another country. He will be lucky if they don’t remove his license to act as a cab driver.Recommend

  • shahid
    Apr 15, 2015 - 2:22AM

    This muslim cabbie should know that these women did not object to him being muslim and doing sodomy with young boys; It is not anybody’s business specially ‘muslim’ idiots who are wearing long filthy lice filled beards or wearing hijabs, burkas, long blankets over their bodies etc etc just to show they are prejudiced and mentally defective. These mentally crooked people should be penalized every time they open their mouth on others business not their own. Recommend

  • straightshooter
    Apr 15, 2015 - 3:15AM

    A certain person – who shall remain nameless – was twice refrained from ‘indulging’ in cabs in Toronto and Glasgow. In the former case, there were polite bouts of coughing by the driver. In the latter, the said person was politely told to take it easy. Both the drivers happened to be white. Now what does one make of this?Recommend

  • Amer
    Apr 15, 2015 - 5:05AM

    He was NOT discriminating ! A cab is not your bedroom ! What a crazy judge… ! Recommend

  • Crystal
    Apr 15, 2015 - 6:43AM

    Honestly, if it was me I would have done the same thing. Even if it was a straight couple. I don’t want to see that ish. I keep my sex life in the bedroom. You can too.Recommend

  • Cher
    Apr 15, 2015 - 9:23AM

    Serves him right, poking his nose where it doesn’t belong. They weren’t having sex, they exchanged one kiss. Muslims need to integrate themselves into the western societies they live in and accept their values instead of thrusting their own opinions on people. 17 years in New York hadn’t taught him that Americans consider it ok to kiss in public? If he wants to reap the benefits of living in America then he should accept its cultural norms too.Recommend

  • Faisl Shahzad
    Apr 15, 2015 - 9:25AM

    It is not discrimination, if you want others to respect your thoughts/ideas/likings etc then you must have to respect the others. These sort of practices should be avoided as these may hurt feelings of other HUMAN BEINGS. So either declare that others are not HUMAN or pay respect to all irrespective of their orientation.Recommend

  • Cher
    Apr 15, 2015 - 9:35AM

    The day we stop brushing off all criticism as “discrimination against Muslims” is the day the Muslim population might actually make some real progress. Look inwards for the problem before assuming the whole world has it in for you for no reason. Muslims think it is admirable to correct people and ‘show them the right path’. This philosophy doesn’t work in western countries where it is considered interfering, rude, and intolerant. The cab driver simply reflects what Muslim societies everywhere believe, that if you see something ‘wrong’ happening in front of you, you must ‘speak out’ or you will be asked to explain yourself on the Day of Judgement. While this may be admirable for calling out abuse or cruelty, more often people just use this philosophy to call out values they don’t agree with, such as, in this case, homosexuality. Recommend

  • Aro
    Apr 15, 2015 - 11:57AM


    No it does not serve him right. Even if they were kissing it’s distracting when someone is driving… Could be dangerous… There are even rules against talking when someone is driving… Using the cellphone or texting… Besides its his cab… If a pizza joint can refuse serving pizza to gay couples why can’t a taxi driver ask any couple of any orientation to stop kissing

    And no amount of dental work is an obstacle to loud kissing or feeling, I know. I’ve been a constant dental specimen for six years. Recommend

  • Hashim
    Apr 15, 2015 - 12:38PM

    there is nothing that demonstrate the religion of cab driver. as he stated in court that the back seat activity was disturbing him. no matter what sex orientation was there of girls, there are morals and etiquette for passengers, that are to be followed in society. this incident should not be linked with religion of driver. this was normal reaction from a driver. off course cab is public property which should be kept clean and free from sex appeals. Recommend

  • Hamz Toor
    Apr 15, 2015 - 1:24PM

    Great reporting (sarcasm intended)
    All other news reads “Ny cabbie”or “US Cab driver”…but you report “MUSLIM cab driver”, because for you its not just a news of an incident happening in NY, for you its a news about religion.
    Please stay neutral to all races, religions, demographics and just report the actual news.Recommend

  • Proletarian
    Apr 15, 2015 - 1:51PM

    This is not justice at all. Its the couple that should be fined for indecent behavior in public.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Apr 15, 2015 - 2:19PM

    Another Muslim Moral Policeman !
    The fine should have been much higher.Recommend

  • Shehriyar Nadeem
    Apr 15, 2015 - 2:23PM

    Hahah kissing and smooching in a cab is obliviously not the right thing and even if it is then cab driver have all the right to stop them doing that in his property.Recommend

  • Jude Allen
    Apr 15, 2015 - 3:11PM

    Okay let me get this straight .. he’s got two females kissing in the back seat of his car, and he “doesn’t like it” so he asks them to stop? er. okay .. I do know many guys though who would actually pay them to keep going …..

    Over that, the poor fool has to now pay them $10,000 because he told them to stop kissing. Hummnnnnnn …… :) Some people just don’t learn do they? Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Apr 15, 2015 - 10:20PM

    Read the article carefully – one of the ladies had dental work done, so there was no “making out”, as many are implying. It was a peck on the lips!

    And secondly, even if they were making out; they would have been doing so on the “backseat”; and as the driver of the cab, his eyes should be looking out “front”; not on the rear view mirror spying on them!

    S either way – the driver was at fault, and fined. Recommend

  • Haris
    Apr 16, 2015 - 9:42AM

    What has being muslim got to do with it… It is his cab and he can ask anyone to behave properly… What if you are eating something at the back seat and throwing all litter there wouldn’t the cabbie told you not to do so …will this be discriminating too.

    These liberals have taken it too far. Next time they’ll fine someone for telling to not smoke marijuana at their property.Recommend

  • Danish Yazdani
    Apr 16, 2015 - 9:37PM

    Where’s your freedom of speech now?Recommend

  • Asu Muhammad
    Apr 18, 2015 - 4:27AM

    I am not surprised. Islam is discriminatory religion. The first lesson Muslim received is to discriminate Non-Muslim, started by calling Non-muslim, Kafir-Kafur, to disgrace and humiliate Non-Islamic faith.

    Muslims also are notorious everywhere for reckless behavior to impose Islamic value to anybody anywhere, because Muslims basically don’t respect Non Muslims, disgraced and humiliated Kafur.

    In UK, Muslims tried to introduce Sharia Zone! In France, police won’t easily enter Muslim Zone. In German, Angela Merkel had to warn Muslim immigrant to learn to speak German and respect German custom with its root to Christianity values. In Malaysia, Non Muslims were not allowed to use word Allah on the bible. In Pakistan, Non Muslims easily are blamed for blasphemy.

    So this taxi driver actually was just practicing his Islamic faith. In Islam, gay has to be killed.Recommend

  • JibJab
    Apr 20, 2015 - 5:30AM

    Should of gone for the 3someRecommend

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