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 repeated their protests.
The firefighters, described as devoted husbands and fathers, said they were subject to the most vulgar kinds of sexual harassment.
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."
"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.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
San Diego firefighters to suing the City
For what you ask? Making them take part in the annual "Gay Pride" parade: