Comments about ‘Salt Lake police officer says he was 'uncomfortable' with parade assignment’

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Published: Monday, June 9 2014 6:40 p.m. MDT

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Cleveland , OH

Seriously? Riding a motorcycle as part of a Police Department official representation in a community event might somehow taint him and mark him as gay or a gay supporter or some-such?

Not marching as a member of a gay group. Being part of an official escort for his bosses.

Would he similarly refuse to escort the Presidential motorcade if the Mr. Obama journeyed to Salt Lake, for fear someone might think he voted for Obama or had turned Democrat?

Would he refuse to escort the Police Float in a Saint Patrick's Day Parade for fear someone might think he would be drinking green beer afterward?

As a gay man, I would be very afraid of this man stopping me for a real - or made up - traffic violation. If I was a crime victim I would be afraid of this man showing up if I called the police. My experience says his "problem" with the GLBT community is the kind of attitude that carries over into every interaction with gay men and lesbians.

If he can't deal with the GLBT community, he might consider another line of work.

Murray, utah

It is so disturbing to me that people who have no religious beliefs, feel that they can dismiss the feelings of those who do, as "bigotry" and "bias." The first amendment protects expression of religion. Certainly, a Police officer, must protect everyone equally, but as he was willing to take a different assignment, security for instance, he was willing to put his life on the line for people in the parade, who have differing views than his own. Ironically, he is protecting their freedom of speech, but is not allowed his own. So he would protect them with his life, as his job requires, but he did not want to seem to condone their views by leading their parade. It sounds to me like the department could have accomodated his personal religious beliefs. I admire him for following his conscience. If we can't follow our conscience, when it doesn't violate someone else's rights, what kind of "freedom' do we have?

Phoenix, AZ

Perhaps he should leave the SLC public police force and find work with a private security firm where he would feel more comfortable.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Just as I expected, the Blt community and its supporters were being dishonest by claiming he refused to work at the parade.

It was just the specific job that he felt was a position supporting the Blt cause and he asked for a different role supporting the parade.

Just par for the course for the blt community of not portraying the truth.

Good job sir!

Sandpoint, ID

Good! The police and fire departments as well as other public agencies serve the PUBLIC. We have gay tax paying citizens in our communities and this kind of bigotry can not be tolerated.

Othello, WA

"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday

Interesting choice of words, but typical and predictable in this day and age of political correctness, and the selective acceptance of perverse ideas and activity. I bet I could put forth a scenario where the department would have to literally eat those words!

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

***The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community, a position which made him uncomfortable given his personal and religious beliefs," the statement read.

Salt Lake police spokeswoman Lara Jones declined to comment on the statement Monday...."We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday.***

Except, apparently, for bigotry against those who are driven by their religious beliefs.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Seems like very easily they could have made reasonable adjustments to let him work security at the parade.

Companies and governments are forced to allow head scarfs worn by Muslims to those who wish to wear them, even if rules prohibit hats and other head accessories otherwise, as an example.

The only bigots at the parade were those who wouldn't make reasonable adjustments to let this great officer have a different role.

I applaud him


Hats off to that policeman for standing up what he believes in.

Woodland Hills, UT

Chris Burbank and Mayor Becker have been watching too many old videos of the village people, and Rick James, SLC is getting supper freaky.

boneheaded, but not a smidgen

let's force people to be uncomfortable. maybe the "pride" people should be asked to ride at the front of a heterosexual parade or be placed on leave. PC is totally out of control. SL police should be ashamed to cave into a non event. I am sure no other officers could have handled this assignment.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Well, I was uncomfortable going to Iraq in the middle of a war, but sometimes we do what we agreed to do. It is part of being a public servant.

Social Mod Fiscal Con
West Jordan, UT

"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments"

When are we going to grow up and realize that disagreeing is not bigotry. That word is used for one reason and one reason alone, to end the conversation, to shut the other party up, to discredit anything they might say after.

It is the ultimate childishness to throw out "bigot" when the other person simply disagrees. Get over yourselves people.

David Mohr
Victoria/BC/Canada, 00

I am disappointed in the officer. Riding ahead of the parade is a part of the security detail. I have never considered the police at the head or tail of a parade as endorsing the parade or any part of the parade. To me they have always been advance or tail-end security.....making sure the way is clear and bystanders, watchers or others are not impeding the parade. If he had been asked to be a part of the parade I could understand his position and would agree with his feelings. I have been in a number of parades and have served with the police as an auxiliary member so I am not just talking out of my hat here. As a citizen I have often wondered why we don't have heterosexual parades expressing pride in ourselves but realize that we don't need to - oh wait....maybe the same should be said of Gay Pride.

Gilbert, AZ

No one should be forced to ride in the parade. I was disgusted by what I saw there.

Patrick Henry
West Jordan, UT

Government employees do not have a right to refuse assignments because of personal belief or opinions.Government employees leave their personal beliefs and opinions at the door of their employment. If he tries to sue his government employer he will handily lose in court, as he rightfully should.

Sugar City, ID

"We have learned that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men [and women] that as soon as they get a little authority as they may suppose, that they immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." Looks like the Salt Lake police department is using a little unrighteous dominion. This is inflexibility taken to a ridiculous extreme. Or perhaps someone that outranks the officer is looking for an excuse to get rid of him. This can't be much of a morale booster for the department.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I hope this officer is given a full opportunity to explain his side. I would be uncomfortable too.

Murray, UT

Oh no! We can't have our brave police officers feel uncomfortable, they would feel like the rest of us when we see them pull up behind us.

Layton, UT

They should have accommodated him. No one would have had to know about it and no one would be losing their job because they felt uncomfortable doing something against their conscience. Hopefully, he'll get a job that is most sensitive to his religious views. It takes courage to stand up for your beliefs, even if it means losing your job.

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