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Public Defender's Recommendation concerning Direct Discrimination on Grounds of Gender Identity

On May 31, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed taxi driver G.G. and taxi company Maxim (Technocom LLC) with a recommendation concerning establishment of direct discrimination on grounds of gender identity, as they refused to provide a taxi service for a transgender woman. The applicant’s interests were represented at the Public Defender’s Office by the Women's Initiatives Support Group.

During making a decision in the case, the Public Defender relied not only on the case materials and interviews with the respondent taxi driver, but he also took into consideration the fact that the LGBT community is one of the most vulnerable groups in Georgia today and they often encounter obstacles in getting services.

The Public Defender underlined the issue of responsibility of the Technocom LLC as well and noted that the taxi company should ensure that all citizens can equally enjoy the publicly offered service of the company. Besides, he noted that the attempt of evasion of responsibility by Technocom might serve as basis for encouragement of discrimination in the future.

The Public Defender recommended taxi driver G.G. to observe the principle of equality while delivering taxi service and serve passengers regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation or other characteristics. The Public Defender called on the Technocom LLC to develop internal regulations, which would determine the company's anti-discrimination policy and to add a parameter to Taxi Maxim's website, which would provide information to drivers who want to affiliate with the Maxim company about the company’s anti-discrimination policy, acceptance of which would serve as a precondition for the affiliation with the company.

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