This sign on top of cabs promoting the Gay Games in August has prompted some Cleveland cabbies to walk off in protest
2014 Gay Games
About 25 cabbies working for three taxi companies out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive vehicles adorned with advertisements for the city's upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons. The protesting cabbies are all Muslim. Below is a tweet fromBoston Globe writer Gary Washburn that includes the advertisement in question:
Local press reports:
Some drivers have informed their employers that they will no longer participate in the Cleveland Hopkins' dedicated taxi cab program because of the advertisements. The affected taxi cab companies will backfill the airport's dedicated fleet with metered taxi cabs until each company can hire permanent drivers for the airport's taxi cab program. It is expected to take approximately two to three weeks to repopulate the airport's Taxi fleet.
No quotes from the protesting drivers themselves have so far been obtained by the media, but supporters of the games scheduled for August are speaking up:
"When you look at what's going on around the world it's not a huge surprise," said Gay Games Executive Director Tom Nobbe of the protest. "Even though there will be a handful of folks who are not comfortable, the vast majority and we're seeing it now are totally enthusiastic and ready to welcome all these folks into town."
A 2011 report by Ohio's WKSU looked at the religious-based opposition to the Gay Games. At the time, Christian and Jewish organizations were mentioned. The current protest by taxi drivers appears to be the first time Muslim discomfort with the games has made the news.