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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He asked to be on the motor squad. A primary function of the motor squad is to appear in parades. He knew that when he volunteered.

He was disciplined by the SLCPD, not the "gay community."

Huntsville, UT


Then prevent the officers from participating in the days of 47 parade too, or are you just a hypocrite.

LGBT people are tax payers too.

Eagle Mountain, UT

@lost in Dc

Some of those first ammendments rights have to be checked at the door for those in uniform. As a Soldier, if I tell my boss to take a hike, I can get jail time. If you as a civilian tell him that same thing, there isnt a thing he can do.

He volunteered to where the uniform, and in that process some of his "feelings" must be checked at the door.

university place, WA

Matthew 22:15-21

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

A police officer is a servant of the public receiving "Caesar's Penny." Jesus gave him an out; he just chose to ignore it.

Woodland Hills, UT

My two cents worth, wow! That's quite a stretch, never heard an interpretation like that one.

Los Angeles, CA

@Tekakaromatagi, so because liberal blah, blah, blah you get to misrepresent the story? That's logical.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!

Taking a job as a peace officer and enlisting in the army are two very different things. Nice straw argument, though, you liberals are good at that when your own arguments are too weak.

the SLPD cannot ask him to violate his conscience regardless of any twisted logic you try to pull from the bible. The 1st amendment is not terminated when someone takes a job as a police officer.

Cedar Rapids, IA

noun, plural big•ot•ries.
1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

1. a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice

How many other police men and women are without bias and bigotry on the Salt Lake department?

It's is difficult to know exactly what was said by whom. but what has been revealed to the public doesn't seem to reach the level of bigotry or even bias.

Perhaps you had to be there...

university place, WA

@lost in DC

"Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!'

And when they cannot without impacting the mission, they are not required to.

"Taking a job as a peace officer and enlisting in the army are two very different things."

They are both voluntarily agreeing to serve the public and accepting the restrictions to their private behavior that might entail.

"regardless of any twisted logic you try to pull from the bible."

I'm just following the lead of my "Christian" brethren who distort it all the time to support their agenda. Regardless, it seemed like pretty straightforward language to me. Isn't the bible supposed to be easily understood by all?

"The 1st amendment is not terminated when someone takes a job as a police officer."

Public servants when doing the public's business most definitely can expect restrictions on their 1st amendment rights.

Salt Lake City, UT

When I was 16, I had a job doing janitorial work at a local high school. I was asked to do a certain job task and I expressed my concerns about having to do that task. A very short time later, I was unemployed. There was no leniency for conscientious objecting. I learned the consequences of refusing a job assignment that was well within the normal scope of my job.

Today, I'm in my 50's. If one of my subordinates refused a normal course of work job assignment, they too would find themselves quickly unemployed. I propose that if this officer does not want the responsibility of serving any and all citizens, he should resign his position and someone can be found to fill that vacancy.

Cleveland , OH

@patriot: "men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?"

Good question. What is there to be uncomfortable about with that? It's a sign of affection between two people. A romantic kiss between two people who love each other… That's not a problem. It is perfectly acceptable.

Eagle Mountain, UT

@lost in dc

A police officer follows much of the same restrictions as a Soldier would. It isn't exactly an apples and oranges thing.

A cop who is insubordinate can expect legal actions.

When they join, they are asked if they have any religious conflicts before hand (someone who is opposed to the use of fire arms cannot, and should not be a cop). He was not drafted, but volunteered for this duty. His chance to voice any religious exceptions was before he sought their employ.

He was not asked to participate in the parade, only to be a part of its security.

A similar restriction would be if were asked to provide police services for a Jazz game on Sunday. Would we expect religious accommodations to be made (in the State of Utah, there are a LOT of LDS cops). Only if it would not impact the ability of the mission to be carried out.

He lost a portion of his 1st amendment rights when he said there were no religious restrictions and he accepted his position.




There are parents all over the nation and world that have, are currently and will be teaching their children that two men romantically kissing is not natural, that is offensive to man and God and that it is not perfectly acceptable.
So..for the future...what is the proposition? According to the unpopularity (ratings) of the last few seasons homosexual sitcoms, the LGBT community seem to have only won tolerance..which is not exactly the same as embracing a lifestyle as normal. When left to their own devices and in the privacy of their own homes, it seems that very many people prefer the traditional values we live by, while still wanting those who don't, to live with peace and dignity with full legal rights. However, we don't celebrate something we consider wrong.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't understand the logic of the gay community. Why would you want this officer there to "protect you" if he has expressed interest and passion serving elsewhere in the city? Doesn't it make sense to seek volunteers first and then make assignments to fill needed slots? If you have 400 employees and only 1 said they would like to work elsewhere, then why not comply?

The fact of the matter is Becker and Burbank look for religious people to make examples out of them. The Romans did this to Christians early on. Toss them into the court of public opinion and let them be torn to shreds for the cheering progressive crowd.

What about the rights of religious folk? How can the city claim to be neutral and protect everyone's interest, when they openly express their disdain?

The officer simply asked if he could have a different assignment. It was an over reactive department and leadership, that allowed their bias and bigotry to spew out. I had a Muslim professor, that stopped class during Ramada, so he could break his fast. We were accommodating to his religious belief.

What a digressive city.

university place, WA


"There are parents all over the nation and world that have, are currently and will be teaching their children that two men romantically kissing is not natural"

True enough. There will be parents all over the nation who will teach their children that the races shouldn't mix, that their religion is the only true religion and, that women are subservient to men. Parents get to do that. I am happy to announce, though, that all over the country there are many parents who will be teaching their kids that everyone is different but everyone that everyone potentially has something to offer the whole that is society. They will also be teaching their kids the golden rule.

Ogden, UT

@patriot 11:13 a.m. June 10, 2014

men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?


If it's an affectionate kiss -- the kind you see all the time between spouses -- then there is absolutely nothing to be uncomfortable about.

If it's a "get a room" kiss -- the kind you often see between opposite-sex couples -- then (for both opposite sex and same sex couples) it can be uncomfortable.

BUT the bottom line is very simple -- if seeing any type of kiss makes you uncomfortable, then just don't look.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"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..."

When did the parade become about him? When did his involvement become about anything except performing the assignment? When has his job ever been about anything except performing the assignment?

Far too many times I have read on these pages that gay couples are “selfish” and thinking only of themselves. This is exactly the mistake this officer has made. He took himself so seriously that he turned the parade into a referendum on his religious convictions.

I think this is also the mistake of many commenting here: You’re taking yourselves too seriously. Your god, your religion, and your consciences are not so fragile that they cannot withstand the same challenges that the rest of us face as we try to live our lives in concert with our personal principles. Your convictions are no more "deeply held" or special than anyone else's, and to demand that they be accommodated as such is, well, a bit self-centered.

Eagle Mountain, UT


As a Soldier/Cop many times you don't have the luxury of picking assignments. It tends to lead to favortism, and if they asked for volunteers, it may pressure someone into accepting a position they truly do not want. It's nasty, nasty internal politics. When I was a young private, it was beat into me that you ALWAYS volunteer for EVERYTHING.

What happens most often, is they have a duty roster, and they just assign the next guy on the list to the next duty. No favortism, no wiggle room, no pressure.

Maybe the question you should be asking is, "Do we really want a cop that picks and chooses who is worth his protection?" What if he were asked to stop a bar fight "Whoa boss, I am a temple recommend holder, and I can't have people think I support the bar" What if he were assigned a protective detail to a high profile visitor who happened to be gay? "Whoa, I can't have people thinking we are a couple"

No, just get in, do your job as a professional, and get out. Is there a higher ideal any professional could hope to achieve?

Salt Lake City, UT

@Chris B, @U-tad, @LovelyDesert, @Lost in D.C. and the regular posters which share the same archaic backwards beliefs...Truly I feel that I drop several I.Q. points after reading these comments. Most definitely aware that research and obtaining facts prior to posting is not your mantra. However, a simplistic search on SLCPD website reveals some startling facts. This happened to be a motorcade officer and he was fully aware of his duties spelled out in advance via an extremely thorough job description. Would a Catholic officer have the same right if he/she did want to participate in The Mormon Pioneer parade? Absolutely not! Why? Police officers are public servants and take an oath to "serve and protect" ALL! (Note the word "some" not used) In closing, if I happened to be a firemen and your home is burning down please do not identify yourself prior to the fire being extinguished because after all if we don't share the same political beliefs I don't have to do my job. Correct?

Seattle, WA

"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."

Riding the bus home from work with tears in my eyes reading this story. I'm sure the officer means well and didn't want this to become a media circus but the fact that he is so against anyone who dares publicly identify as LGBT that he is afraid to be seen doing his job among them is just mind blowing. I can't believe the people I go to church with think like this. Don't they always say "we're not against anyone, we're just for traditional marriage"? If you refuse to serve or work with LGBT people, you are against them. Why do people defend this? Do you have any idea what stigmatizing, repressing, and hiding does to people? Just stop it. Please try to understand what you are doing.

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