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Uber ends partnership with homophobic 'Portland Taxicab Company'

Uber says it doesn't want anything to do with homophobic taxi service in Portland and ends its affiliation.
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PORTLAND, Ore., -- Over the weekend San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (SDGLN) reported on an Oregon taxi company that endorsed the actions of one of its drivers who stopped in front of an LGBT bar on Tuesday, Sept. 20, and began taunting patrons through a bullhorn.

The driver, an employee of Portland Taxicab Company, yelled at Scandal's customers from the curb, saying they were going to hell, but he could help them if they wished to abandon their “difficult lifestyle.”

Bar goers and the local media called Portland Taxi for a response to the actions of the cabbie, but were surprised when the company said they wouldn’t take any action because he was expressing his First Amendment Rights, and if LGBT people didn’t want to use their services, “that’s better for us,” they said. 

It was later learned that ride-sharing service Uber was set to partner with the company in their affiliate program, but after hearing the company's opinion on the LGBT community, they announced today that the partnership is no longer being considered.  

SDGLN reached out to Uber and they provided us with the following statement.

“Uber strongly believes in non-discrimination, diversity, and inclusion. 

The actions of a Portland Taxi Company driver and the stated beliefs of the company are unacceptable and obviously completely inconsistent with Uber's strong support of the LGBT community. 

Today, we informed Portland Taxi Company that we are ending our affiliation with the company and have removed all of their drivers from the Uber platform.”

Portland Taxicab Company was founded in 1978 by local cab drivers and is one of the oldest services of its kind in the city.

Their website states that they are not the largest company in the area, but, “we have the coolest taxi drivers ever!”

Popular public opinion site Yelp names Portland Taxi number three of "The Best 10 taxis near southwest Portland," just below Northwest Towncar and City Cab. 

See also: 'Portland Taxi' driver berates LGBT bar patrons with bullhorn