In case you missed it, there’s been a bit of controversy surrounding a Salt Lake City police officer who was put on paid leave after he allegedly refused to work at the city’s gay pride parade, citing – what else? – religious objections. Naturally, this pissed off a whole lot of people. With all this new legislature attempting to protect the right to discriminate against LGBT persons on the basis of “religious freedom”, a lot of people have been wondering how far this will go. We’ve already had instances of restaurants and cake shops refusing service to same-sex couples because it violated the religious beliefs of the owners of these businesses, but as hateful as a person may be, they can do what they want with their own private business. With a government worker, however – especially a police officer who is in charge of protecting all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation – surely this right to discriminate would not extend to them, right? Well, obviously that’s a crock of bull, because it happened in this instance.
Anyway, the police officer filed a lawsuit against the police department and later resigned, stating that he never actually refused to take part in the parade; he merely asked to be delegated a less conspicuous assignment than was originally given to him, but that if another one wasn’t available, he’d be willing to do whatever was assigned to him. That’s quite a different story from what the police department gave, so one side is obviously lying. If the cop is telling the truth, then asking for a different assignment is a far better move than outright refusing to work at the parade. However, citing offense on the basis of religion still should not be acceptable for a police officer. If a prostitute were being beaten by her pimp, or a john, would he not come to her aid because of his religion? This “religious freedom” discrimination legislature that so many states are trying to push through now is rubbish, and a really slippery slope.
Anyallbigotsareidiots, over at Washington D.C, a gay police officer stood up to the Westboro Baptist Cult Church by kissing his boyfriend during their pride parade. No explanations here, no long back story. The moral is: one openly gay cop is worth two dozen homophobic anti-gay religiously conservative cops.