Gay Ex-Trooper Awarded $768K After Facing Discrimination For Male Thai Massage

brett-williamsThe Colorado State Patrol has been ordered to pay a gay ex-trooper over $750,000 in damages after they refused to rehire him after effectively outing him during a lie detector test.

Brett Williams, 45, quit his job as a CSP trooper and captain in 2010, but following second thoughts, he reapplied to the agency. He was given a polygraph test, during which he was asked — as we’re assuming must be protocol — if a man or a woman had given him a massage on a trip he had taken to Thailand.

“I answered honestly, just like I did to all the questions, that the person was male,” Williams told KDVR from his home in Hawaii where he now works at an irrigation company. “He kind of had a smile on his face about it so I kind of knew at that time that something was not right. So by answering that honestly, I knew what the outcome of that was going to be and basically they’d forced me out of my closet.”

Williams was denied reinstatement and so, finding it hard to find work at other police agencies, he said “aloha” to Colorado and “aloha!” to Hawaii. Then last summer, the State Personnel Board agreed that Williams had been discriminated against, leading the CSP to vow to improve its diversity training. A judge last week decided to award Williams $768,000 in front and back pay, which Williams’s lawyer hopes furthers the CSP’s efforts.

Williams, however, is skeptical and feels that “not a single thing” will change.

“I was pleased with [the judge’s] ruling,” Williams said. “But at the same time, I can’t get too excited about it because basically I know that the State Patrol and the state will continue to drag it out, draw it out and appeal it.”

To wit, the CSP released a statement that they stand by their decision not to rehire Brett Williams and that the decision “had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.” They plan to appeal the order for damages.

Well, if his sexual orientation had nothing to do with it, was it the Thai massage? For all the trouble that bodywork has apparently caused Williams, we hope that at least the massage had a happy ending.

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