Thursday, August 09, 2007

Firemen ordered against will to drive in gay parade

by Lynn Vincent @

Four firefighters are pressing sexual harassment claims against San Diego's fire department after they were taunted while driving a fire engine in a gay pride parade last month, the Associated Press reports:

The men claim their battalion chief ordered them to ride in the July 21 parade through San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood, according to their attorney, Stephen Stirling. The firefighters followed the order out of concern they would otherwise be suspended or punished.
During the parade, one firefighter told WorldNetDaily, "You could not even look at the crowd without getting some type of sexual gesture," one said, adding, "If any crew member were to hang up pictures at the station of what we saw, we would be disciplined."

Over the course of three hours, they heard statements such as, "show me your hose," "you can put out my fire," "you're making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," "you look hungry, why don't you have a twinkie" and and "blow my hose."

When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile. Details here....

"I was forced into a situation that would compromise what I hold true and what I believe in," engineer Jason Hewitt said in a statement.

The firefighters' legal counsel, the Thomas More Law Center, said the men were "left with the Hobson's choice of either violating their conscience or being disciplined for disobeying a direct order.'"

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