"It's illegal", the driver says in the video. 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.
In an interview with NBC New York, Iovine admitted that their exchange "turned into anger, which we are not proud of".
"It's disrespectful", the driver said.
Iovine and Emma Pichl were taking the Uber from Pig Beach Gowanus to the East Village on Saturday when Iovine gave Pichl a kiss. "At one point we leaned over and pecked kiss, very fast".
Uber lists community guidelines on its website, which specify that "you shouldn't touch or flirt with other people in the vehicle", and that there's "no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what". They say Ahmad El Boutari forced them out, sparking a confrontation.
The couple angrily threatens to call the police, saying: 'It's not illegal to kiss in NY'. "Why are we getting kicked out of the Uber?' And he said, 'That's illegal.'" Eyewitness News tried to reach out to the driver but was unable to locate him.
Just five minutes after that, Pichl said the driver "pulled the cab over and said: 'You should not do that... do not do that'".
Tough experience yesterday. Help spread the word about this Uber driver.
Iovine and Pichl were refunded the $22 for the ride, they told ABC News, but they are now apprehensive about using the ride-hailing service.
"We were in shock. We always thought we lived in this untouchable New York City bubble where LGBTQ is so accepted", Ms Pichl said.
Iovine says the two are aware of Uber's policy against riders having sex in the backseat, but that the kiss was far from objectionable.
"We would never try to upset someone in their own auto", she said by telephone.
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience", an Uber spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".
The Taxi & Limousine Commission, which is responsible for regulating Uber and other ride-hail apps, did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.
"A$3 driver is most definitely not allowed to do such a thing".
When Iovine presses him to explain why they're being ousted, Elbotari says "it's disrespectful". Iovino also filed a complaint with New York City's Human Rights Commission, according to the Daily News.