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Report: Lyft Driver Locks Gay Man in, Demands Prayer Session

by Kilian Melloy
Thursday Mar 14, 2019

A Lyft driver allegedly locked a gay man in his car, insisting that they pray together, and then told the passenger he was going to "burn in Hell" because God "hates your sin," reported LGBTQ news outlet the Washington Blade.

Greg Alexander was headed home from a private function in advance of the public opening of a Newseum exhibit on the Stonewall uprising and the equality movement it helped spawn, the Washington Blade reported, noting that Alexander had been there as a guest of the publication.

The Newseum, a Washington, D.C. museum, bills itself as "an interactive museum that promotes free expression and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution while tracing the evolution of communication." The Washington Blade disclosed that it is a sponsor of the exhibit titled "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement."

When the driver — who went by the name Jeremy — learned of the exhibit, he asked Alexander, "Gay rights? What is that?" He then went on to opine, "There is no need for gay rights."

Recounting the exchange to the publication, Alexander said, "I started getting very nervous and felt unsafe."

Alexander alleged that the driver refused to unlock the car's doors and wanted Alexander to pray with him. He also said that the driver started to recite passages from the Bible at him.

Alexander declined to participate in prayer but asked the driver what he believed the eventual fate of Alexander's soul would be.

The response: "You will burn in Hell." The driver then parroted one of the anti-LGBTQ religious right's signature slogans, saying, "God loves everyone but he hates your sin."

When the driver allowed Alexander to exit the vehicle, he lost no time in reporting the incident to Lyft, but days went by with nothing more than an automatically generated response informing him that the company would look into his complaint. The Washington Blade noted, though, that just after it published an account of Alexander's ordeal, the company contacted Alexander.

Lyft also spoke to the publication directly, with a spokesperson offering the assurance that the driver's conduct, as described, was "absolutely unacceptable."

The spokesperson went on to add that "there is no place in our community for harassment or discrimination of any kind."

The spokesperson added the assurance that the driver in question had been "permanently banned," the article said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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