(Tribune illustration)

Two Chicago men who say they were kicked out of a cab after the driver objected to their kiss are suing the taxicab company.

Matthew McCrea and Steven White say in a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County court that the two got in a Sun Taxi cab at O'Hare International Airport with the intention of going to McCrea's apartment in the Lakeview neighborhood.

Shortly into the trip, McCrea "leaned in toward his boyfriend and gave him a simple, one-second in length kiss," according to the lawsuit. After that, the driver of the cab quickly turned the interior light of the van on and off, the lawsuit says, and after McCrea asked him if everything was OK, the driver responded, "This is public transportation," before pulling over on the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanding that the pair get out of the cab while it was dark and raining outside, according to the lawsuit.

The couple refused, and the cabbie drove to the nearest exit, where he asked the couple to get out in a grocery store parking lot, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the cab company, through the driver, violated the Illinois Human Rights Act and seeks to stop the company from further violations, including by posting notices setting forth requirements for compliance with the act. The suit also seeks compensation for McCrea and White and attorneys' fees.

A representative for Sun Taxi Association could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Attorneys at Lambda Legal, a legal organization known for working on behalf of the gay and lesbian community that is representing McCrea and White, did not immediately respond to an email Tuesday.

mmanchir@tribune.com

Twitter @TribuneMM