UPDATE: San Diego Firefighters File Complaint Over Forced Attendance at “Gay Pride” Festival

Excerpts from “Complaint Filed on Behalf of Firefighters Forced to Participate in San Diego ‘Gay Pride’” – August 28, 2007

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) announced on August 28 that it filed a sexual harassment and freedom of speech complaint in California state court on behalf of four respected San Diego firefighters.

In July, four San Diego firefighters were ordered, against their wishes, to participate in uniform on their city fire engine in San Diego’s annual “Gay Pride” parade. During the course of the ensuing three hour long ordeal, the firefighters were subjected to vile sexual taunts and gestures along the parade route.

TMLC attorney Charles LiMandri explains filing the complaint in state court, “These men were sexually harassed in clear violation of San Diego’s sexual harassment code. Further, the California Constitution’s freedom of speech provision prohibits compelled speech. What the firefighters were ordered to do was endorse what goes on at this parade through their participation in it.”

The so-called “gay pride” parade took place on July 21, 2007 in San Diego. On July 20, 2007, the four firefighters in question were told by their superiors that they would be participating in the parade. All four repeatedly protested that they did not wish to participate. On the morning of July 21, 2007, however, these same four firefighters were ordered to ride on a fire engine, in uniform, in the parade.

LiMandri commented, “One of the main reasons for this complaint is so that no firefighter will again be forced to participate in a parade that is so sexually charged that it creates a hostile work environment. We want a new policy for the Fire Department that will explicitly state that no firefighter will be ordered in the future into this type of parade again against his or her will.”

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