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An Uber driver who launched a homophobic tirade at a lesbian couple as well as using a volley of racist terms has been fired.
The driver, known only as "John", was recorded on Sunday night ordering the two women out of his car after being asked if he thought his choice of words, which included two racist terms, one of them "a six letter word with two Gs", were appropriate.
"I can say anything I like as long as I'm prepared to suffer the consequences," he tells the pair before demanding them to "get out of my cab or else I'll drag you out".
Lucy Thomas, an anti-bullying campaigner, recorded the spray on her mobile phone, after she and her girlfriend became offended during a short, two-kilometre journey from Collingwood to Richmond.
The driver told the pair AFL was a game played by “a bunch of f*****s jumping around and touching each other,” Ms Thomas said.
In the audio clip, she questions the driver about his need to make homophobic remarks, racist slurs at the Indigenous community, and jibes at the disabled, while performing a public service.
“Why do you think it’s ok to use terms like f****t, a**o, s*****c, r****d while you’re driving an Uber?” she can be heard questioning him.
“What, are you going to give me a one [star] rating and make a complaint?" he replies. “And then when I write my report about two f*****s who don’t like being called f*****s, what’re they going to say?”
Moments later, John demands the women “get out of the car,” and when Ms Thomas asks why, the driver aggressively tells her: “if you don’t I will get out and drag you out”.
Ms Thomas said the driver then became threatening and aggressive when he realised the women were a lesbian couple.
“I told him that I understood the spirit of what he was saying but that the word was deeply offensive to me and a lot of other people.
“He then asked us – why are you worried, are you gay?”
Ms Thomas’ partner said yes, while Ms Thomas told John it was irrelevant, before he became threatening and demanded the couple get out of his car.
She then filed a complaint to the ride share service and reported the incident to the police.
“The person I spoke to at Uber was really empathetic and affirmed and how horrible the experience must have been for us,” she told the Observer.
Thomas is the co-founder of Project ROCKIT a national youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice, working with schools to empower youth who are silenced, bullied and targeted, to stand up for themselves.
“The driver didn’t see us as a threat until he realised we weren’t straight.
“The only reason we decided to share this is because we want the community to know these issues are still a problem… given the current climate in Australia, it’s now more important than ever that LGBTI people are visible along with the discrimination they face.”
Since sharing the audio on Twitter, Ms Thomas has been informed the driver has been banned from driving Uber.