In the footage, Mr El Boutari says that kissing in an Uber is illegal - adding: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my vehicle". The driver said "he asked them to stop kissing and lower the volume on their phones" and insisted "he would do the same for a straight couple, but acknowledged he has less tolerance for a same-sex couple", the News reports. She thought he was joking, ' Iovine, an advertising technology consultant, said.
Iovine filmed driver Ahmed Elbotari telling them, "It's illegal", "It's disrespectful", and "You're not allowed to do this", with Iovine and Pichl arguing with him to understand what they did wrong.
Iovine presses him to explain, asking: 'Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?' And by tidying up after yourself - whether it's taking your trash home or cleaning up a spilled drink - you'll keep the auto in good condition and ensure the next person has a pleasant ride, too.
After they left the auto, they confronted driver Ahmad El Boutari about it and he said that they were being "disrespectful". "That's when we pulled out our phone", Ms Pichl claimed, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News.
"Kissing is not illegal", the women protested.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission and Uber are now investigating.
Just five minutes after that, Pichl said the driver "pulled the cab over and said: 'You should not do that... do not do that'". "It was 22 bucks".
Meanwhile, Iovine and Pichl say the incident has changed their perspective on being in a same-sex couple in New York City.
"We were in shock".
A spokesman for New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission says el Boutari has been licensed since 2014, and that his license has been suspended after this incident, pending the outcome of the TLC's investigation.
"We would never try to upset someone in their own vehicle", she said by telephone.
Iovine said she's aware of Uber's code of conduct, but was adamant that the two did nothing more than a quick smooch. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere". The women told CNN Uber refunded their $15 fare.
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in touch with the rider regarding her experience", Hendrick said.
She said they had only "peck kissed" and were "not even touching" but that Mr El Boutari had been "very angry".
She said that she also filed a complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission, but hasn't heard back from the online ride-hail company.