"If HE does not have the freedom of conscience to refuse to participate in
the Pride Parade, then I don't have the freedom to march in it. "Lilly, you are missing a main component in your assessment. The police
officer is on the clock. You aren't. You have the freedom to choose to go,
or not to go, just like the police officer does, as long as neither of you are
on the clock. When the police officer is on the clock he or she has
to do the assignments given him or her."All Police Officers
should be offered and opportunity to chose another assignment, as long as it is
not punitive, disruptive or unduly hard on the rest of the Department."No. For the most part a person does not get to pick and choose what they
want to do. You are given an assignment you do it. Even if you don't
particularly care for it.------Sven, I don't think
anybody missed you.
Stormwalker, you say, "He may disapprove – that does not give him the
right to treat citizens badly." What am I missing? How is the officer
in question treating anyone badly? Is he not just exercising his own
rights of conscience in opting out. How is this hurting anyone? Do we not all
wish for the same rights and freedom to think and believe as we choose?
It's simple "My rights end where your nose begins" and vice
versa! You and I both deserve the freedom to think and choose whatever we
want as long as it is not infringing on yours/mine/others rights to the same.
Do you object?
So, I have read a lot of the comments with regards to whether or not the officer
was being asked to be in the parade, or doing traffic control. Regardless, this
officer is stating that he would not be the best candidate for the job, and for
them to seek another officer who would be more willing. From a security stand
point the event is in better hands with those who are more willing to be there,
then those who are being forced to be there. Yes officers have their
"beat" that they have to patrol, these are normal assignments that they
are expected to work on a daily bases. This event, as well as any other event
say the 47th parade, which is a State Holiday, and your government officials get
paid time off for anyways. So what the system should do is allow those
who are willing to stand up and say that they will take care of the event, and
if there is not enough officers to cover, which I'm sure there will be
plenty more then willing.
Can anyone blame this officer? I don't. Gay Pride events like the one in
SLC tomorrow are truly disgusting spectacles. Doubt me? Take a look at some
their parades and the clothing (or lack thereof) that they wear. These Gay
Pride events are meant for one purpose, and one purpose only...to shock
people!I will be nowhere near SLC tomorrow to witness this circus
The officer in question, according to the article, refused to perform
traffic/safety duty based on his bigotry. In doing so, he refused to protect
and serve ALL of the citizens in the jurisdiction he purports to serve. He got
off too easily.
He should NOT be fired. All Police Officers should be offered and opportunity
to chose another assignment, as long as it is not punitive, disruptive or unduly
hard on the rest of the Department. Why does this Gay, Married, Mormon,
Progressive, Raging Liberal defend this man? It's about Equality and
Freedom. If HE does not have the freedom of conscience to refuse to participate
in the Pride Parade, then I don't have the freedom to march in it.
Remember please, that it was not that long ago that the discrimination against
me as a Mormon, and the discrimination against me as a Gay Man, was readily
accepted. Are we forgetting that wonderful adage...."I defend to the death
your right to advocate that which I vow to oppose." That's how
Freedom of Conscience works, and it CUTS BOTH WAYS. This nation must be safe
for both he and I, to follow our beliefs, as long as he doesn't curtail
mine, and I do not curtail his. It just may be that this Police Officer has
more defenders in the LGBT Community, than any other. We Get it.
Shaun said:"If he has issues with assignments then he should
quit. I am sure there are situations in every job that everyone deals with that
they would rather not be a part of. You either do them as asked, as long as it
is legal or you move on."======Kind of like the way
the homosexual community should've "moved on" from the Boy Scouts
of America if they didn't like the requirements they had for joining.The hypocrisy from the Left is glaring!
Let's see. It's a Mormon state and the parade is happening on a
Sunday, so the officer is a bigot? He probably just wanted to go to church with
@lost in DC. Do you have 1st amendment rights on a job? No. What about a waiter
who refuse to serve alcohol? Is the employer violating their first amendment
rights by making them do so?As far a nurse who refuses to assist in
an abortion, it is legal, and they have a right not to assist but the employer
also has a right to fire them.
@lost in DC: "You have hit the nail on the head, why the gay movement is so
dangerous. It totally disregards 1st amendments religious rights. No, it
doesn’t disregard them, it wants them nullified and thrown out."Within my lifetime it was considered a religious right to be able to
discriminate against people based on skin color. Religious leaders preached that
God separated the races for a reason and any type of race mixing was a sin.
"Segregation" and "separate but equal" were considered to be a
religious position and we're defended is such in many cases. Both the
legislatures, and the courts, and did that as a legal defense.The
problem with religion is that some followers want to be able to treat other
people badly because "God said…" We are a constitutional republic
with the rule of law. Not a theocracy. Requiring a police officer to do traffic
duty, or to do outreach to a group of citizens, is part of the job. He may
disapprove – that does not give him the right to treat citizens badly.
@ChesserMesser"Any activity that is based on sexual orientation is
silly."Weddings? Valentine's Day? Dating? Or does it only
count when it's gay people?
No, he was not given a traffic and safety assignment at the parade. He was was
given a desk job in traffic and safety for his paid leave after refusing the
assignment at the parade. The assignment for the parade hadn't been
Nope, truth, I wouldn't have a problem at all if the security guard refused
to guard the CEO. And I wouldn't complain when the security company he
worked for fired him. On the spot.
Would anyone be complaining if a gay security guard refused to work as security
for the CEO of Mozilla who had made a donation to prop 8?
Sasha Pavech,You have hit the nail on the head, why the gay movement is so
dangerous. It totally disregards 1st amendments religious rights. No, it
doesn’t disregard them, it wants them nullified and thrown out.Bigotry IS alive and well, and fostered by the police department’s
treatment of this officer and the gay movement that HATES religious
liberties.Shaun, so if a nurse has problems with abortion
he/she should just find another line of work? Thanks for proving my first
While the whole story is never fully reported, every source I can find says the
officer was assigned public safety duties. However, even if the
officer was directed to be an official department presence in the official
police "float" or car, or was directed to staff a recruitment or
community relations booth, refusal is still a problem. Those
positions are not about the individual's identity - they are about an
official presence reaching out to a community that has, historically, been
treated very badly by law enforcement. If the refusal was about
being part of official outreach, as a professional, it is very problematic. It
means the officer believes that he (or she) is not able to work with colleagues
or citizens who are gay. If that is the case, time to stop being a cop. Personal
religion is not a reason to mistreat others.
Any activity that is based on sexual orientation is silly.
This Deseret News article clearly reports that the officer refused to take a
traffic control and public safety assignment."The officer is on
paid administrative leave as the internal affairs unit reviews the situation,
Jones said. He had been given a traffic control and public safety
assignment."1. He was NOT assigned to march in the parade.2. He was NOT asked to occupy a recruiting booth.The city
cannot depend on a policeman who refuses to take a public safety assignment. It
would be better for everyone involved if he found another line of work.
In case anyone forgot SLC has a non-discrimination ordinance which the LDS
Church supported and Law Enforcement (and typically other First Responders) are
sworn to protect and serve all in their jurisdiction - not just a selective few.
If he was assigned to march that would be wrong to make him. And also silly.
People marching should be their own idea. Marching means you are connected to
the cause in some way in the minds of too many people. There are people marching
already. If they need people to participate so badly maybe they don't have
enough people to put the parade on? I'm sure there are plenty of people
signed up. Working the parade is an entirely different matter. But
the way the story was written it does sound like marching was the assignment.
Both the Tribune and DN articles seem to be incomplete on details for this
developing story. It will be interesting to see what additional details come
out in the future. The Tribune article mentions that larger events like the
Days of 47 Parade and SLC Marathon allow officers to sign up for duties of their
choosing prior to designating assignments, but the Pride Parade doesn't
have such an option as a smaller event. That seems odd to me. I would think
the larger events would be more subject to assignments not of one's
choosing due to the larger presence needed. I would think the smaller events
would be available for those most interested in the event to take the fewer
coveted spots, with sufficient interest to avoid unwanted assignments. I feel
like there is a large difference between a patrol assignment and a
representative marching on the parade route. The patrolling of a public event
is a necessary service, the marching in the parade doesn't seem as vital
service to the community. I don't feel it is fair to expect all personal
opinions, beliefs, and independent thought to be suppressed in public service.
People have a misconception of the protect and serve signs on police cars, their
primary duty is peace officers and civil order to protect the public from
atrocious acts of human indignation violating bill of rights which does not
include personal gender disputes.Every officer has a right to refuse
an order they find objectionable to humanitarian human rights. This pride parade
debacles is one of intolerance and inhumane threat to other peoples rights and
liberties.If only we had more officers willing to say no to inhumane
atrocities then maybe Hitler would not have killed 9 million Jews by troops
following orders. Police and soldiers have moral obligations that can exceed the
corruption of his peers and leaders politically motivated. Standing his ground
to an intolerable group threatening the peace and civil order of christian
values is his duty in serving Utah. Protecting terrorist who break our laws for
political party agendas is illegal use of law enforcement. Bigotry
is a right of pride to be proud of who you are, its not something that only the
homosexuals, minorities, or mexicans can have and is not an act of hate.
Intolerance of special interest is offended by it.
This dude needs to be fired , homophobia like racism is not longer tolerated in
our great country.
"My family and I were at the Salt Lake Arts festival a few years ago and
there were so many gay people there (many of whom were running around basically
nude and flaunting their perversion to the point that it was disgusting)"That's amazing, Meckofahess, I go to the arts festival every year,
and have for many many years, and I have never seen anything even close to what
you are describing. "Nor is the police department divulging all
the specifics of the case."Nagurski, care to tell us where you
are getting your inside information?
Once again we see signs that this culture war is not going to end peacefully
with both sides shaking hands and treating each other with respect. If you want
tolerance you can't go around demanding the destruction of everyone who
does not bow down to your demands.Maybe this guy needs to change
jobs but he doesn't need to be publicly destroyed for his feelings. We need
to ignore the extremists on both sides and find a peaceful place in the middle.
It does say right in the article that the officer was assigned to traffic
control and public safety.If he has issues with assignments then he
should quit. I am sure there are situations in every job that everyone deals
with that they would rather not be a part of. You either do them as asked, as
long as it is legal or you move on.
@Sasha PachevYou must be kidding? America do better than Sweden in
protecting religious liberties? America has become corrupt and has lost much of
it's moral compass. American used to be great because it was good, no
longer. This police officer could have been given a different assignment if in
fact he was asked to march in the parade in respect of his convictions. My
family and I were at the Salt Lake Arts festival a few years ago and there were
so many gay people there (many of whom were running around basically nude and
flaunting their perversion to the point that it was disgusting). I wouldn't
expect a gay police officer to be forced to march in a Catholic or Mormon parade
if it was against their convictions to do so. An assignment to provide security
at the event is a different story however.
Stormwalker, I know what the article "says" but the officer was not
merely providing traffic control and public safety. He was asked to do something
more than that that he or she didn't feel comfortable with. Providing
safety and protection once again was not the issue. I recognize that people are
commenting on only what information they have in the article but as in most
cases the media does not have all the facts here. Nor is the police department
divulging all the specifics of the case.
The beginning of the article clearly said, "The officer is on paid
administrative leave as the internal affairs unit reviews the situation, Jones
said. He had been given a traffic control and public safety assignment."He was not marching. He was assigned to do traffic control and Public
Safety. The article also described the police chief marching last
year, and other members of the department marching this year. That was a
statement that the department supports equal rights for all citizens, not just
some.Representatives of the Police Department marching – or
riding a police car or whatever – in a parade is about connection with
citizens. Would everybody be defending a Baptist police officer who refused to
provide security at the days of 47 parade? Or who had refused to march, as a
representative of the Police Department, in that parade?
The issue for this officer was not providing protection for the parade but was
being in the parade. Big difference.
The third paragraph of the article includes this sentence: "He had been
given a traffic control and public safety assignment."The
officer was not asked to march in the pride parade or to work the recruitment
booth at the festival. As with any sizable public festival in the city,
officers are recruited to help manage traffic and general safety. The parade
has 120 entries the streets downtown are going to be lined by tens of thousands
of people.The details in the article about officers participating in
the parade and festival were included to demonstrate the city police force is
supportive of the gay community.
When I worked for a Swedish company as a database server developer/support
engineer they respected my right to not provide support for adult sites due to
my religious convictions. I think America can do better than Sweden in terms of
Since we are not his judge or jury and do not have all the facts, I fully
support a persons freedom to stand for his/her own convictions without
prosecution as long as it does not infringe on any other individual's
rights of freedom. The parade will go on without this officer and I'm sure
he must have a day off coming that perhaps he could trade for the one he is
taking during the parade. Why must we make a federal case about it just
because he decided not to work during a Gay Parade? Would the same amount of
people be 'belly-aching' if he refused to work during a Pioneer day
For those who say he should be forced to march as a representative of the
organizational support for an issue he is opposed to (NOT part of any civil
servants's job description), please re-post, stating your support for Chick
Fil-a forcing any of its gay employees to be in a campaign espousing its
corporate support of traditional, opposite-sex marriage. A sincere and
heartfelt oath to protect and to serve is NOT the same as saying I will support
your lifestyle. Cops make the majority of their living risking their lives for
people they are morally at odds with.
After reading the story I don't know if the offending officer was assigned
a "post" (the articles word, not mine) as part of a standard security
detail or as a member of the parade. It makes a difference and the DN really
should provide some clarity.
I agree that the article is unclear as to whether he was asked to march in the
parade or to provide security or some other service that the police offer to
parades (such as blocking off the street). If he was asked to march, he should
have the right to refuse to do so if he disagrees with the cause of the parade.
If he was asked to provide security or some other service that is part of his
job, he was way off base in not doing so. As a police officer he has the duty to
serve and protect everybody in his jurisdiction as assigned by his superiors.
Even those he doesn't agree with.
The 2nd half of the article certainly suggests that this refusal was related to
marching in the parade. I believe that marching in the parade and providing
security for it are separate matters. If it was a security assignment, I
believe there should be no room for refusal. If it's an assignment to
march, I think there should be room for personal opinion.
"Members of the Salt Lake City Police Department have marched in past Utah
Pride parades, including Chief Chris Burbank who marched last year."The officer was being asked to march, not protect. It is obvious.
This "man" signed up to "Protect and Serve" ALL citizens.Can anyone on the force refuse to defend and protect the 47 parade as
well?It makes me certainly wonder just how he deals with crimes
against gay people.The poor thing is just too sensitive to deal with
actual gay people?
the guy should be fired...what if he refuses to help a minority or
someone/something else he has an issue with....the guy needs to go
I applaud the officer for not wanting to be a part of this event. Gay pride
parades have always been full of debauchery. They're obscene. The idea that
a police officer must sign on to this marching grotesque display or they
can't be a police officer, is a different type of obscenity. Maybe the SLC
gay parade isn't as disgusting as other city's parades, I would hope
not but I'm sure you'll be just as freaky as you want to be.
Are officers allowed to decline assignments on holidays, during religious
events, etc? wbl2745 makes a great point, at what point does it become untenable
for public SERVANTS to quit "serving" the people that are being forced
to pay their salaries?
Reading the article, there didn't appear to be any indication that the
officer was asked to march as a participant in the parade. Three of the deputy
police chiefs were asked to do so, but I didn't see anything that said that
the officer had to do anything else than his job, providing security for the
parade. Personally, I think there is a strong case for firing the
officer. What if he responded to a crime at the home of an LGBT couple? Would he
refuse to assist? Would we tolerate an officer who for personal beliefs refused
to assist a black family, a Jewish person, or a Muslim? Our police are tasked to
protect and assist everyone and to enforce the law. There's nothing illegal
about the LGBT parade.
How do you know that he was assigned to march in the parade?
This story doesn't say that he was assigned to march in the parade. What
makes you think that?
This police officer wasn't assigned to protect citizens in the parade. He
was assigned to march in the parade. I can fully understand why he
wouldn't want to join in as a participant in the Gay Pride parade. The gay
movement is turning our society upside down. He should no more be punished for
this as for refusing to march in a Neo-Nazi parade. People have a right to live
by their convictions.And for all you gay folks that will say this is
bigotry: There's nothing hateful about just staying home.