Editor’s Note: WARNING – Some content in this article is graphic.
Participant in 2006 San Diego Pride Festival
Four firefighters are suing the city of San Diego for being forced by their superiors to attend the annual “Gay Pride” parade where they endured a barrage of sexual taunts and lewd gestures.
San Diego’s fire chief, Tracy Jarman, is an open lesbian who called the July 21 parade a “fun event” in which “all employees are encouraged to participate.”
But the firefighters said, unlike previous years, they were ordered into uniform to participate in the parade in their fire truck, despite their repeated protests.
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.”
The firefighters, described as devoted husbands and fathers, said they were subject to the most vulgar kinds of sexual harassment.
San Diego Fire Chief Tracy Jarman is an open lesbian
“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 (from a man wearing a “Girth and Mirth” t-shirt),” and “blow my hose.”
When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile and started shouting, “F— you firemen” and others began “flipping them off.”
San Diego area attorney, Charles LiMandri, the West Coast director of the Thomas More Law Center, insists the city should have known from past experience “the kind of offensive activities that go on at this event.”
“This was a clear case of sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law as well as the City’s own code of conduct,” he said.
LiMandri said the firefighters also were targets of sexual gestures, including exposure of genitals, blowing kisses, grabbing of the crotch, rubbing of nipples, tongue gestures and men hugging and kissing one another passionately – many wearing make-up and dressed like women.
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center argued the constitutional right to free speech also protects the right not to speak.
“These men should not have to explain to their families, friends and church congregations that their presence at a celebration of lewdness and obscenity in support of the homosexual agenda was because they were forced there by way of a direct order,” he said. “This is a clear violation of their constitutional rights, and the city must be held accountable. It should never happen again to any city employee.”
Jarman, the city fire chief, insisted when she was appointed that her homosexuality had never been an issue at the department.
But Thompson maintained the firefighters’ ordeal was “another example of how radical homosexual activists in positions of authority force their agenda on unwilling citizens.”
“Although the local media avoided mentioning the debauchery and the obscenity that pervaded the parade, the general public should know what went on and how these firefighters were forced to participate against their will,” he said.
As WND reported, prior to the parade, the San Diego City Council unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Mayor Jerry Sanders to designate July as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month.”
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