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Court: 4 San Diego Firefighters Should’ve Never Been Forced To Participate In Harrowing Gay Pride Parade

Four San Diego firefighters “forced” to attend a 2007 gay pride parade — which caused them “headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and other stress-related symptoms,” according to their lawsuit — are entitled to a total of $34,300 (and more than a half-million in legal fees and court costs, plus interest), unanimously ruled the Fourth District Court of Appeal, upholding a lower court’s 2009 ruling.

The men — John Ghiotto, Chad Allison, Jason Hewitt, and Alexander Kane, who all still work for the fire department — were sexually harassed at the parade, an event they claim they never wanted to attend by were mandated to by their superiors, their lawsuit claimed. (In 2008, the rules were changed saying firefighters could volunteer but would not be forced to participate.)

Joseph Infranco, senior council with the notoriously anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, says he hopes the ruling “will end the city’s attempts to defend its act of compelling people to participate in sexually-charged events against their moral and personal convictions” and that he’ll take the case “all the way to the California Supreme Court” if the city appeals. Ghiotto, one of the plaintiffs, says he’s happy with the ruling. The amount of money the city has spent on this is amazing — I’ll bet it’s in the millions by now. This whole thing could have been solved in a day. They knew two or three days before that we didn’t want to be in that parade.”

By:           jd
On:           Oct 17, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
  • 42 Comments
    • Matt
      Matt

      Given that pride parades are sexually charged, forcing someone to attend is the equivalent of forcing someone to attend a business meeting at a strip club.

      The city was wrong and should have asked for volunteers.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pete
      pete

      Do the firefighters, who are paid with taxpayer dollars, get to “volunteer” to put out a fire at a gay nightclub?

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ron
      ron

      I wonder if these 4 firemen have a problem with stripping down for a calender shoot that straight women and some gay men purchase? I don’t agree with the sexual harassment bullshit.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kiki Tan
      Kiki Tan

      If this was a straight event, would LGBT firefighters be able to sue for being forced to go, too?

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “The men — John Ghiotto, Chad Allison, Jason Hewitt, and Alexander Kane, who all still work for the fire department — were sexually harassed at the parade, an event they claim they never wanted to attend by were mandated to by their superiors, their lawsuit claimed.”

      The legal merits of the case aside (whether they should have to participate), the “sexual harassment” claim was most likely fabricated. It’s kind of hard to sexually harass someone walking down a street, or riding down a street, that is walled off with barriers, as is usually the case during a parade through an urban area.

      It’s not like these guys were being required to dress like go-go boys and raise money for the department by letting on-lookers stuff dollar bills down their pants.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      If they were harrassed, the offenders are responsible, not the city. But for guys who are paid to put themselves into harms way, they couldn’t handle a public parade? I’d say they weren’t fit for their job, seriously.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MickW
      MickW

      Good for them, it was wrong to force them to go to the parade.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      San Diego = homophobe central.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      I do not understand why they should have been forced to attend. I do not want anybody at a pride event if they do not want to be there.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Why did they just not go from the start? I would have just said NO if i did not want to do something outside of work. If they knew they were legally correct then they could have been sitting on their ass suspended with pay while the case worked its way through the courts.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      They were not kidnapped, bound and tied to any float. I do not think they were forced at all.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Davis
      James Davis

      I don’t like their beliefs, but they deserved to win this case. The city should not mandate attending an event to any of its employees. Imagine if they were LGBT fireman and they had been mandated to attend a Fred Phelps Westboro parade. That would be just as wrong. These guys maybe douches for their beliefs, but their rights were infringed upon.

      For those of you complaining “what if it had been putting out a fire at a gay club…”, please have some common sense. Putting out a fire is part of their job, attending events isn’t.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      Excuse me, is this for real???

      Employees of the city were ordered to do their jobs and they get compensation for their homophobia???

      Amazing

      Oct 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 12 · “For those of you complaining “what if it had been putting out a fire at a gay club…”, please have some common sense. Putting out a fire is part of their job, attending events isn’t.”

      http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dmY4jTZozY7ucST3sOXDKA has a photo from a San Francisco pride parade, prominently showing a fire truck. There’s a legitimate reason to have firemen go along – if there’s a fire, particularly a large one where they’d need all the department’s resources, the truck can take off and leave the parade, with a full complement of firemen.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHIP1218
      CHIP1218

      @tallskin2:

      It is not part of their jobs to march in a parade. Look at the other way, and I would use myself as an example, if I worked for a city agency, I would not want to be forced to march in other parades if I disagree with the group or the holiday that is being celebrated or if the parade was traditionally marred by violence – why should I be forced to go? It’s one thing to volunteer, it’s another to take the choice away from the individual employee – this wasn’t assigning them to do a fire safety presentation to a gay rights group – THAT would be part of their jobs and would be enforceable if they protested.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Davis
      James Davis

      @B: I’m sorry, but that is laughable. I refer back to my comment of having some common sense. This firetruck wasn’t on standby to assist at the parade if needed, it was essentially a float participating in the parade. Being on a parade float isn’t part of their job. As I said they are douche bags for claiming physical/mental anguish from having to participate, but at the heart of this they shouldn’t have been forced/ordered to be on a parade float.

      Oct 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 16 · James Davis wrote, “@B: I’m sorry, but that is laughable. I refer back to my comment of having some common sense. This firetruck wasn’t on standby to assist at the parade if needed, it was essentially a float participating in the parade.”

      It’s not “laughable”, your ignorance notwithstanding.
      Look at the picture I included – http://picasaweb.google.com/lh…..cST3sOXDKA – it is a fully functional fire truck going
      along the parade route. Sure it was there as part of the parade but the point is that the truck could leave at any time if needed for a fire. Unless San Diego is run by incompetents, they would do the same thing – have the truck ready to leave at a moment’s notice by turning off the parade route at the next intersection.

      BTW, I once saw the fire department show up (for real) at the San Francisco pride parade – an alarm inside a business along Market Street had gone off and they checked the building. If the
      fire truck in the parade had been there at the time, what do you
      think they would have done? Drive by it to stay in the parade and let any fire get bigger?

      Oct 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdonisOfFire
      AdonisOfFire

      LOL, irritable bowel syndrome? One of them must have gotten fucked really hard HAHAHAHA

      Oct 18, 2010 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Look a little deeper. Homophobia was not the issue. An opportunistic lawyer found a way to make a huge fee, and rounded up four willing participants to share in the prize. Their boss is out as a lesbian, and yes, they were instructed to participate in the event in connection with their job. Yes, there were “cat calls” from the crowd along the parade route, and yes, you can certainly make the case this is sexual harassment. Yes, the fire fighters are grown men, and nobody was hurt, and it is amazing what people will do for money. The City of San Diego shares liability here, because the City charges the parade’s organizers for the privilege of playing host. When it’s your party – you are responsible for the behavior of your guests. San Diego will not appeal this decision, as it has neither the desire nor the funds to play the game. Our courts have better things to do, too bad our lawyers and some citizens do not.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      I’m gay and sometimes I don’t want to go to a gay pride parade or any kind of parade. If it’s not in my job description I shouldn’t have to go.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 1:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ThatRandomGuy
      ThatRandomGuy

      does anyone else actually think pride parades are actually hurting our cause. Personally I don’t take issue with them, but I feel that it just fuels the whole “gays are focused solely on sex” argument for pain in the ass conservatives. just my 2 cents. =\ and as far as this case goes. The firefighters should get over it… however, they shouldnt have been forced to attend; especially with all that irritable bowel syndrome.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 8:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @THATRANDOMGUY

      I think it’s mainly semi-closeted conservative gays who turn their noses up at Pride and what they see as the shallowness of gay culture. It’s just snobbery, I’m afraid.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 8:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy
      Soupy

      And I don’t believe that gays should live their life in fear of what pain in the ass conservatives think.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ThatRandomGuy
      ThatRandomGuy

      @Soupy: The point im trying to make is that our fight for civil rights has become a game. if you can play the game of politics well, you’ll get your vote. once i can legally marry my partner, screw what they think. but when its them voting on my ability to do so, ill at least get them on my side first.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sug Night
      Sug Night

      This makes me want to puke. I hope some gay cop who is forced to participate in the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade sues the city for half a million.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No 15 and 16: No 15 refers to a comment I made that now seems to be deleted – this seems to be happening at random – only some, but a nontrivial fraction of the comments are evaporating.

      The one No 15 replied to merely pointed out that a firetruck in a parade would be staffed with a full crew so that it could leave the parade if necessary for a fire: San Diego had a legitimate job-related reason to have members of the fire department go along with the truck.

      Are others seeing their comments disappear for no reason? Was QUEERTY offended by the link I included (to a picture of a fire truck in the San Francisco gay-pride parade flying a rainbow flag
      but not decorated as a float so as to prevent it from being used immediately if needed)?

      Oct 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wompman
      wompman

      Michael @ #18 is exactly right. This entire charade was cooked up as a test case for an anti-gay, shitbag legal group (see also the freakish Andrew Shirvell case, I bet they’ll be getting behind him soon as well). These four gay-hating asswipes found a way to make some cash and they did…too bad they were too stupid to realize how small their cut would be compared to the lawyers.

      Oh, and if you are gay and live in San Diego you might just want to let your house burn to the ground. I’m sure these fuckers would claim they were “forced” to put out a gay fire and sue if push came to shove.

      Oct 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @wompman: If you are Gay and your house is on fire or your car gets broken into, homophobia is not the reason you cannot get help. The town is simply flat broke! Seriously, if it weren’t for parking meter income, I believe the place would shut down.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 2:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AL
      AL

      I’m openly, proudly gay (and proudly San Diegan) and I’m glad they won. This is akin to forcing your employees to participate in a political rally for a party or cause you do not support. That goes against what living in the U.S.A. is all about. Gay pride is a political issue whether you like it or not.

      That battle for equal rights and tolerance will be won by gaining the sympathy of people’s hearts and minds, not by forcing people to publicly support gay rights whether they like it or not.

      San Diego is a large, cosmopolitan city. If the city wants to support tolerance, I’m sure they could come up with 4 openly gay or gay-supportive firefighters to participate voluntarily (which I believe they do now). That is so much more powerful of a statement anyway, to have firefighters participate voluntarily because they believe in gay pride instead of being forced to do it.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      I do not believe the SDFD had the right to force these men to participate in a political activity with which they disagree. There is no conceivable reason why the SDFD couldn’t let them go and find four volunteers instead.

      As has been noted by several cooler heads, this wasn’t a fire safety demo to a gay group. This was ordering heterosexual employees to actively participate in a gay pride parade on a “float” against their wishes. They were forced to represent to department’s political stance, and were subjected to unwanted advances of a sexual nature.

      Shrug that off all you want, but if female police officers were ordered to ride a float in a parade espousing specific political beliefs with which they disagreed and were subjected to the same unwanted advances by the drunken men along the route, I doubt people would be having the same reaction.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No. 29 where DR wrote, “As has been noted by several cooler heads, this wasn’t a fire safety demo to a gay group.”

      Where did a “fire safety demo” come up? The issue is simple: you have a fire truck that might (under unusual circumstances) have to leave the parade immediately to help fight a fire, probably a very large one where they need all the available equipment. It makes sense to have the crew go along with the truck for that reason. It’s just “worst case” contingency planning. That’s one of the things upper management in a fire department or a city government is responsible for.

      If the parade route went on a street next to a fire station, and the fire department hung rainbow flags outside all the windows facing the parade, would anyone claim that firemen required to be in the station in case needed for a fire were being somehow forced to express a particular point of view by merely being there as part of their job? People aren’t that dumb – they do not assume the official opinion of the fire department is the opinion of its employees.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @B:

      We mention safety demos to highlight the difference between being told to do a part of your job (“do a safety demo with this local GLBT group to make sure its members understand how to use fire extinguishers and exit a building in a safe manner”) versus being forced to participate in what is a political and social activity (“we’re having a float in a gay pride parade and you have no choice but to ride on it and be subjected to all that goes along with it”).

      Clearly the firemen in this case wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if they refused to do the former, a very obvious part of the job. Clearly they should not be forced to do the latter, which is not in our opinion. Some folks are under the illusion that this was “just part of the job”, and as many of us are pointing out, being asked to ride a float in a pride parade is not, nor should it be, a job requirement.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re: No. 31 · DR wrote, “@B: We mention safety demos to highlight the difference …” First, after some text searches it seems that No. 14 (replying to someone else mentioned a “fire safety presentation”, not a “demo” which is something else). Aside from that, your “point” is a red herring regarding the statement I made that you want a full crew to accompany the truck in case it has to leave the parade due to a fire. It’s part of a fireman’s job to be ready immediately (while at work) if there is a fire. If that means being with a truck that is in a parade, then the firemen should be with the truck.

      If you don’t think you sometimes need everything you can get, check out the following articles about a gas-pipe rupture and explosion near San Francisco and in a low-density residential neighborhood:
      http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-09-10/news/23996646_1_gas-line-explosion-wind-whipped-blaze-smoke-inhalation
      http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-09-11/news/23998471_1_gas-rates-natural-gas-coroner
      As one article states, “About 200 firefighters from agencies around the area responded to the blaze, joined by air tankers that dropped retardant on the fire.”

      Oct 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @B:

      This was described as a “non-emergency event” in a rig not set up for emergencies. The truck was considered “out of service” for the time it participated in the parade, which means that had there been an emergency, this truck would not have been called to assist.

      The SDFD is claiming that this is simply a “PR duty”, that lends further support to the notion that the purpose of the truck’s presence was not “fire safety” but “public relations”.

      Finally, the complainants noted that had there been an emergency, they were not provided with an exit plan or the assistance of trained medical/emergency personnel. This truck was not meant to be on active duty for the duration of the parade, and any claims to the contrary are disingenuous and fly in the face of the legal findings and statements by the SDFD and the complainants.

      This truck was not meant to be sent to emergencies that day. It served no purpose but to get the SDFD out there in the parade for three hours or so.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 33, DR wrote, “This was described as a ‘non-emergency event’ in a rig not set up for emergencies. The truck was considered ‘out of service’ for the time it participated in the parade, which means that had there been an emergency, this truck would not have been called to assist.”

      In other words, the SDFD planning was to use other trucks for a typical call – someone’s chicken catching fire in the oven. If there was a major disaster (like the one I described), they would have taken the truck out of the parade. It’s not like they would have put a platform on top of the truck to carry a group of dancers, which would have really made it non-functional. If it had the usual complement of hoses, etc., it would be usable.

      You also wrote, “Finally, the complainants noted that had there been an emergency, they were not provided with an exit plan or the assistance of trained medical/emergency personnel.”

      But, we were not talking about an emergency at the parade. You don’t need an exit plan to get the truck out of there to go somewhere else. You just go to the nearest cross street, move the barriers, ask people to get out of the way, and get out as fast as you can manage safely. The public will cooperate.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @B:

      I’m just going to close with something very simple, because you just don’t get the law.

      No employer should be allowed to force any employee to participate in a social or political function which results in the employees being sexually harassed. End of discussion. SDFD screwed up big time.

      These guys were subjected to unwanted sexual advances, were harassed by their coworkers AND the gay men at the parade, warned their superiors ahead of time they didn’t want to participate, and were told if they didn’t they’d be suspended and lose their chances at promotion. NONE of that is legal. NONE.

      You can argue all you like, but the facts don’t support whatever point you’re attempting to prove. The men were forced to do it despite the fact they didn’t want to AND previous participants from the SDFD reported being harassed in the past, and the SDFD is getting exactly what it deserves.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 36 · DR wrote, “@B: I’m just going to close with something very simple, because you just don’t get the law.”

      Liar – I do “get” the law. I just don’t find the claim that it was violated to be credible. I was referring specifically to a reasonable requirement for firefighters to be with a fire truck in case there was (gasp) a fire that required the use of the truck, even if they had planned not to need the fire truck for the duration of the parade under normal circumstances. You know, a major fire that needs every available unit.

      Then you claim “No employer should be allowed to force any employee to participate in a social or political function which results in the employees being sexually harassed. End of discussion. SDFD screwed up big time.”

      This is patently ridiculous. I’ve seen gay pride parades. Nobody participating was sexually harassed, even San Francisco’s very sexy mayor, who stayed out of his car to get the attention of voters (and presumably their votes).

      Then you claim, “These guys were subjected to unwanted sexual advances, were harassed by their coworkers AND the gay men at the parade, warned their superiors ahead of time they didn’t want to participate, and were told if they didn’t they’d be suspended and lose their chances at promotion. NONE of that is legal. NONE.”

      First, if their coworkers harassed them, the coworkers should be disciplined and maybe fired. Your “unwanted sexual advances” claim is not credible. These guys were riding or maybe walking by, separated from the crowd by a barrier, and could easily stay too far away to be harassed. It’s not possible to grab someone’s ass when that ass is 20 feet away. If they were being sexually harassed, it was by other firemen, who the department would then have a right to terminate.

      If there were catcalls from the crowd (probably drunks in the crowd), so what? It wouldn’t even be clear who those calls were directed to (it might have been to someone else watching the parade), but if that were a real problem, there should be gobs of complaints at straight parades with scantily clad women being watched by lots of straight guys. Look at http://www.google.com/images?q=San+Francisco+carnival&oe=utf-8&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=996&bih=740 for some pictures of the San Francisco Carnival parade (a Latino and decidedly straight affair) and there was not one complaint of participants being sexually harassed, even though what they were wearing made the gay pride parade look like a puritan convention by comparison.

      Finally http://www.towleroad.com/2007/08/san-diego-firef.html has an article about their complaints – I just don’t believe a lot of it. Interestingly, one of their complaints is that they had to hear a bunch of religious nuts scream that homosexuality is a sin. As if people watching the parade didn’t have to up with the same thing. If we won’t protect the average citizen from that, why should the fire department get special treatment?

      Oct 20, 2010 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      You may claim whatever you like, but Judges and juries who have much more intimate knowledge of the case disagree with you, B.

      You continue to make “worst case” arguments to attempt to refute the fact that the truck was listed as “off duty” and unavailable for emergencies AND had no contingency plan in case it were needed. You assume facts never entered into evidence, B. Actually, you assume facts directly controverted by the facts found to be true.

      You continue to deny the evidence presented, which has been reviewed by folks much more learned in the law than you, which shows these guys were sexually harassed. You can pretend all you like that it never happened, but clearly the guys with the black robes disagree.

      You continue to ignore the fact that the SDFD never produced evidence to refute the claim that this harassment had happened in the past, they were aware of it, and still forced these men to participate even after concerns were expressed.

      You can say you don’t believe their complaints, and that’s your prerogative, but at least one jury and several judges found the testimony and complaints meritorious. I have read the complaints myself, and the behavior they were forced to be subjected to was uncalled for.

      Hide your head in the sand all you want, but there’s a reason this became volunteer after this happened and before the lawsuit.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AL
      AL

      @B

      The point is that people who participate in SD Pride or a Carnival parade and are the subject of catcalling or lewd behavior are participating voluntarily. They want to be there.

      The department subsequently changed their policy and the firefighters can volunteer to be in the parade if they want.

      These men were forced by their employer to attend a social/political function that they did not support or did not feel comfortable attending. This was not part of their normal job duties.

      How would you feel if you were told by an employer that you had to attend a rally to “protect traditional marriage from homosexuals”? I really see no difference. You are being forced to do something outside of your job duties that goes against your personal views.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 38 · DR wrote, “You may claim whatever you like, but Judges and juries who have much more intimate knowledge of the case disagree with you, B.”

      Try again. I was stating quite clearly why there is a legitimate reason to have a crew that can take the truck to a fire go along with a fire truck. You, meanwhile, seem to be pretending that you know what went on in the jury room. You almost certainly don’t – the chances of you having actually been on the jury are nearly zero.

      The reports, however, included complaints about harassment from other firemen, which just might be the real reason for the verdict – if the department did nothing about that. Most of the complaints were simply bogus – obviously the lawyers were trying the “throw everything you can dream up at them in case something sticks” tactic.

      Then you try to weasel out by saying, “You continue to make ‘worst case’ arguments to attempt to refute the fact that the truck was listed as ‘off duty’ and unavailable for emergencies AND had no contingency plan in case it were needed. You assume facts never entered into evidence, B. Actually, you assume facts directly controverted by the facts found to be true.”

      You are simply lying about what I wrote. If you think that a fire truck would not leave a parade to help fight a major fire where they need everything the department has and more, you are quite frankly off your rocker. I gave you a real-life example of a worst-case disaster – a recent fire in San Bruno that destroyed a whole neighborhood due to a major gas line rupturing and feeding a fire for quite some time because it took that long before PG&E got around to shutting off the valve. The explosion was so large that it registered on seismographs in the area. Your truck may have been listed as “out of service”, but it is not like they stripped everything off and put a stage on top – the pictures showed a normal-appearing fire truck, i.e., one that was fully functional. It wasn’t getting a lube job.

      Essentially, you are confusing an “out of service” status (an administrative designation due to it being in a parade) with something being functionally out of service. It’s the functional status that matters.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 39 · AL wrote, “@B: The point is that people who participate in SD Pride or a Carnival parade and are the subject of catcalling or lewd behavior are participating voluntarily. They want to be there.” … you mean like mayor’s driver and entourage?

      You claimed “These men were forced by their employer to attend a social/political function that they did not support or did not feel comfortable attending. This was not part of their normal job duties.” But that claim is obviously false – part of their job duties is to go along with a fire truck to PR events when needed. This was just one more PR event. It’s not like the truck will drive itself.

      Then you try a red herring, “How would you feel if you were told by an employer that you had to attend a rally to “protect traditional marriage from homosexuals”? I really see no difference. You are being forced to do something outside of your job duties that goes against your personal views.” … but they were not sent there to express a point of view in support of anything – they were there to stay with the truck. It’s one thing to attend a vehicle and another to wave signs supporting some issue you don’t agree with.

      But I’ll give you an example that kind of fits what you made up. Suppose you are a software engineer who just developed some nifty software useful in political events. You employer offers to let a “protect traditional marriage” event use it, merely to get some public exposure, not because your employer cares about the issue. The manual isn’t written yet and they want someone who can fix a problem really fast if something goes wrong so it doesn’t turn into a PR disaster. So they send you. Is it part of your normal job? No. Is it legitimate? Well, yes, even if you don’t particularly like it.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard Cortijo
      Richard Cortijo

      I read the entire complaint. I suppose these fire fighters would refuse to ride or take part in any event. I am sure they would not want to be hit on by women in an international volleyball event or bikini contest. I am sure that they would not want to be hit on at the other event they showed up in earlier that year for the str8’s on 5th, the rock n roll party thing. They were there and all to happy to flirt and be flirted with by drunken obnoxious women…so it goes down to that they have a problem with being hit on by men, they should just say that and be done with it, but by lying and say it has nothing to do with the gay thing is ridiculous, I have witnessed their hypocrisy first hand. I think the commander should not let them attend ANY social event as a representative of the fire department in uniform to prevent them from feeling uncomfortable. I thought they were supposed to be tough…what a bunch of pansies.

      Jan 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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