I'm sorry that someone can't state an opinion and have someone else do
the parade. Makes me sick. Thanks Salt Lake police dept. Lost me.
I sense a lawsuit coming on.
I hope he gets the meanest, toughest, most aggressive and successful lawyer in
the state. We need an investigation into why we are paying Salt
Lake City police officers to be part of the "Pride" parade, which is a
tacit endorsement of their message.There is nothing wrong with
providing security for the Pride events, just as with any other group gathering
(Cinco de Mayo, Pioneer Day, Jazz championship--well maybe someday...). But to
actively perform as a unit in a parade is just wrong use of tax payer money and
police officer time. To order someone to do so should be an illegal order which
can be legitimately disobeyed.I think maybe about a million taxpayer
dollars, taken from the Police Department budget and specifically the
Chief's salary and benefits package, would be good compensation.
What happened to the hue and cry about unfair discrimination?I'm certain that the officer in question realized that any appeal to
legal protection would end up in federal court. I suspect it may anyway,
because some "pride" advocate is sure to disapprove of the officers
choices, and claim that "rights" have been offended.
1. We are a Right To Work state and he willingly resigned. He has no case in
any court at all.2. I did not agree with the Iraq war but I fought in it
anyway because I was a soldier and that's what soldiers do. As a police
officer you do not get to choose who you protect and serve. You are a servant of
the people. All of the people. 3. If he refused to provide security at
General Conference because he hated Mormons, I bet the tone of conversation here
would be different.
Father of four, the officer was not refusing to "protect" anyone, he was
refusing to be an active "participant" in the actual parade. That is a
big difference that the media has glossed over and has only been brought to
light due to a legal statement by the officer's attorney. the officer found
a replacement to ride in the actual parade and the officer was willing to
perform the task of security at the parade. This is a far cry from the way the
media has portrayed this and doesn't deserve *any* of the controversy it
has garnered. He may serve the public, but he doesn't have to change his
opinions or views to do so, no matter who disagrees with him.
He did not refuse to provide security, read the article. "He asked to trade
for a security or patrol assignment." He did not want to be riding in front
of the parade looking as if he supported the convictions celebrated in the
parade, but he WAS willing to provide security - therefore doing his duty like
you, FatherOfFour, did yours. How much more clear does the article need to be?
I hope he sues, this is worthy of such a lawsuit.
No Parade should use on-duty police. Part of the cost of the parade should be
security. Providing security for Parades could easily be provided by off-duty
police officers, thus earning them extra well-deserved pay and also, as such
would be voluntary, so that no officer would be required to ride in any parade
he/she may not support. Easy solution.
I remember about 10 years UTA started operating buses and TRAX on Sundays, in
large part to accommodate those who were traveling to the LDS General
Conference.If one of the TRAX operators or bus drivers refused to
work that day, because they wanted to honor the Sabbath, or because they
didn't agree with the LDS religion, they should have been disciplined.This entire story is one big non-event.
We should have a freedom parade with this officer as the Grand Marshall.
Come on people, he didn't refuse to work, he didn't refuse to provide
security, he refused to participate in a parade as one of the lead guys. Stop
making him out to be the villain you want him to be. All these
analogies are not representative of a guy who was willing to work and protect,
but not willing endorse. It is not the job of the police department
to endorse anything, it is to protect the public, something this guy was willing
@jeanieSorry, that's not how it works. You don't get to
pick assignments. In police units, and the military discipline is a huge issue.
If a leader cannot get his subordinates to do their assigned duties for things
like parades...how are they going to obey him in times of war or riot?It may seem trivial, but it gets out of hand easily. Unit leader posts a duty
roster, and if people start swapping shifts and duties, one of two things
invariably happens. People don't show up for duty (and whom do you hold
accountable?) or you become perceived as a pushover and lose the respect of your
men because of the precedent you set. "Well you let Officer Smith out of
duty for this, why can't I for this reason?"He signed up
voluntarily to be a police officer. When you pick up a stick, you pick up both
ends, not just the part you like.
He was not there to protect and serve, in fact, he asked for that detail instead
of riding in the parade. Get your freaking stories right, leave him alone you
Darrel, this is a heckuva lot different that a war or riot. This was a parade,
he asked to serve and protect. Doesn't sound to me like he was trying to
not get away of his "duty". I have seen many times where people swap an
assignment in the Navy and the leader not lose respect but earns respect by
helping his Sailors out!
Darrel, My father served as a commander in the Vietnam War. Your
characterization is inaccurate and overblown.
FatherOfFour,Your reason #3 is very telling about the thinking of
many gay activists and supporters. In their minds there is only room for
agreement/endorsement or hate. There is no way to politely disagree or have a
different conviction with out it being labeled hate. That's pretty limited
and myopic view.
Whether the officer was asked to participate in the parade or to provide
protection or traffic control doesn't matter. The point is that he felt
"uncomfortable" about LGBT. That kind of personal bias against a class
of people ia unacceptable, all the more in public service.
Yup - a lawsuit is coming and it will be a slam dunk for the cop. Employers -
including police departments - are required by law (Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, to be exact) to make "reasonable" religious accommodations
for their employees. And there is very clear case law precedent in very similar
circumstances (a religious Chicago cop asking for reassignment from standing
watch at an abortion clinic. The court ruled that a reassignment under such
circumstances is a "reasonable" request. The Chicago PD reassigned him
to a precinct that didn't have any abortion clinics in it so the issue
would never come up again. The case is Rodriguez v City of Chicago. SLC is going to be settling this one. They're on the wrong side of the
Gary, so you could refuse to march in a parade in the Navy, if ordered to do so?
Yeah, didn't think so. As far as a law suit, yeah,
it seems that is what is being set up. But I doubt he will have a case. First of
all, the officer was never disciplined, also he quit the job himself. It sort of
makes me wonder why he did not wait for the investigation to conclude. Secondly,
I doubt a lawyer could show that the order to drive the parade route was illegal
or not proper. Remember, this is a legal parade that has filed all its
paperwork. I imagine officers are ordered to do the exact same thing for other
parades. I imagine the order was to clear the parade route, not be in the parade
itself. In other words I imagine the dept looks at it more as escorting the
parade, rather then being in the parade. Well, we'll see.
People are starting to splice hairs in an attempt to justify this officer's
actions. HE made this parade a statement about his religious beliefs, no one
else, and it simply wasn't necessary. Do you look upon the other officers
that did fulfill their duty as condoning anything? If not, why not? And if so,
on what basis?I think it's a tribute to the SLC PD that,
despite the environment of victimhood being fostered by some, only one of their
officers succumbed to it. Everyone else remained committed to their oath to the
community and to each other regardless of their personal beliefs. Everyone else
remained a professional. My congratulations to the department.
statman"Employers - including police departments - are required
by law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to be exact) to make
"reasonable" religious accommodations for their employees. And there is
very clear case law precedent in very similar circumstances (a religious Chicago
cop asking for reassignment from standing watch at an abortion clinic. The court
ruled that a reassignment under such circumstances is a "reasonable"
request."Big difference between a pride parade and abortion. No
Church (least of all the LDS Church) has come out with official policy or
commandments that members must avoid the appearance of supporting LGBT. Most
Christian churches HAVE commandments against having or contributing to
Gary, the Navy must be different from the Army. We just did what we were told,
without question and without hesitation.Statman, think about what
you are proposing now. "Give me my way in everything I want or I will quit
the department and sue claiming you infringed on my religion."I
honestly hope he decides to sue. Please. As President Bush once said, "Bring
@FatherOfFour Dear Sir, first may I say that I think you are making
a broad assumption in stating "If he refused to provide security at General
Conference because he hated Mormons". Because someone disagrees with the
behavior of another person or group does not mean he "hates" the person
or the group. We who disagree with homosexual behaviors do not hate the
homosexuals - please try to understand that. Also, in my personal opinion, if a
gay officer were to refuse to ride in a Mormon or Christian leaning parade, I
find that totally acceptable. That however would be different than if he/she
were assigned to provide security for the parade. It is okay if people disagree
with others. It is not discrimination or hate to disagree with someone
Please Read these two lines:"He asked to trade for a security or
patrol assignment, according to the statement, and was placed on paid
administrative leave."andThe department is treating
papers he submitted as a resignationNow, where does it say he
refused anything?andWhere does it say he actually resigned?The country we live is getting scarier every day...
@jeanieI served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I saw the duty rosters
being made, and had to do a few myself.My characterization is
accurate. The military is not a democracy.
It was his choice to resign and there are plenty of small towns in Southern Utah
or Nevada where he can go work and be surrounded by like minded people. As our
parents often told us, you have the right to make make your own decisions but
you don't get to pick the consquences of them. Salt Lake police did the
right thing because when you sign up to protect and serve the people you
don't get to choose which ones you support.
@FatherOfFour,Did you read the earlier article?He
offered to work security at the parade, instead of actually appearing in the
parade. He didn't "refuse to protect" ANYBODY.He
actually offered to protect people (which is a police officer's REAL job).
He just didn't want to be IN the parade... (which if you think about it...
really isn't an officer's REAL job).
@ Karen R. Houston, TXYou are wrong in your comment. HE
did not make the a parade a statement about his religious beliefs. It was the
Chief and the spokesperson for the department that ran out to the media to wave
their flag of liberalism and to shame the officer. Rather than dealing with it
internally, they leaked all of the information and wanted the media, gays,
democrats and liberals know that the police force here will obey Obama and any
left wing nut job; over protecting peoples and employees constitutional rights
and freedoms.For a parade that is supposed to be about
understanding, they expressed a lot of hate towards someone of belief.Why can't we have different opinions and still get along? If we
can't figure that out, then there is no reason to reason with nations like
Iran, North Korea, China etc. After all they're never going to change their
opinion, just because we throw glitter on them. Tolerance is something that goes
both ways, not just the gay way.
The real issue seems to be left out of the article and the comments. How did
this information regarding a request on an assignment in the SLC police
department get to the press. This is a personnel issue and should have stayed
in-house. It should have never gotten into the press. It seems, at least to
me, that whom ever inside the SLCPD brought this out in the open should be fired
and his supervisor should be disciplined. Chief Burbank has failed in his
@DarrelI've work in Law Enforcement for over 26 years. I have traded
assignments without repercussions. Your argument is invalid. Supervisors who are
"badge heavy" or have the belief they are all powerful are the only one
who would create this type of problem.
@ 2 bitsSo the officers on motorcycles at the head of the parade
have no obligation to protect the citizens if something should happen - an
assault or attack of some kind? A little kid runs out into the street? They
have no duty to act? They get to just sit on their bikes and watch the other
officers handle things?@ Liberal TedThe officer made the
parade about himself at the very moment he voiced his objection. As his
attorney stated, he was concerned about how he would be perceived. He
wasn't concerned about living up to his oath or performing the duty the
tax-paying citizens were paying him to do. No, what was most important to him
was that the world should not misunderstand what his personal position was about
a parade.He placed his personal beliefs before his sworn promise to
refrain from doing that very thing.
Police departments should not be used in political statements. They are to
protect and serve everyone. When an employer allows a workplace to
become so difficult to work in that the employee resigns, it is called
"constructuve discharge". The officer has a case, and I hope he
wins.Why is it that when gays boycott a cake maker it is celebrated,
but when an officer requests reassignment at a parade due to religious reasons
he is vilified? Oh, I remember: Liberal = hypocrite
@ Karen R. Houston, TXI'm sorry that you are having
a difficult time understanding what happened. They wanted the officer to be in
a position of support for the parade. He didn't feel comfortable with that,
citing religious reasons. The police force then ran to the media and leaked
everything to the public. Of course the officer got his attorney and they
responded to the accusations, to give their side of the story. Something a
reasonable person will always do.Why did the chief allow this
internal affair, get leaked to the courts of public opinion? Because they
already bullied this officer inside the department for his religious beliefs;
and decided to shame him in the public light.This is the issue of
secular left wing people shoving their atheists and secular philosophy down the
throats of people of faith. Of course the left wing people feel they are 100%
correct and everyone else is misguided and feel entitled to force everyone to
believe and behave as they do. Sound familiar to the accusations against people
of faith?Thefact is,ChiefBurbank has shown his bigotry and hate
towards people of faith and he runs a department that follows suit.
@mightyhunterhahaYes, I have traded assignments as well. I am aware
it happens. But how often do you get to go to your superior and say "hey, I
can't do X because it makes me uncomfortable, can you find someone else
with different standards?" You should never ask someone to do something you
yourself are uncomfortable with. That's just being an honest person.What kind of Cop gets to do that? It's one thing to say "Hey,
my son has a football game, can I trade you shifts" and another to say
"Hey, blood makes me squirmy, can you go to that crime scene for me?"
If you find that you could be in a morally compromising situation, avoid it! If
as a person you find it wrong to use firearms, don't become a cop. If
serving gay weddings makes you squeamy, don't open a wedding cake business.
@Karen R. Houston, TXBased on your statement. The
police force should be allowed to discriminate against people of faith when
hiring? You can't ask someone to not be something they are when they hire
on. Could you imagine if they hired a gay person and asked them not to be gay
when they worked? How do you all of a sudden become straight for your shift?
The same with people of faith. You can't ask them to throw away their
beliefs while they are on the clock. "I'm sorry sergeant, but you are
not allowed to pray over that fallen officer; the political correctness police
are on their way to strip you of your badge" Would that make sense?Besides people are assuming that this officer wouldn't put his neck
on the line to protect the LGBTQ community. How quick to judge....he never said
he wouldn't protect them. He simply didn't feel like he should be
forced to support them in such a way as riding in the parade and waving to the
crowd in support of that lifestyle. This could be avoidedifan activist police
officer just gave him a differentassignment.
The funny thing is the police have time for gay parades and giving officers time
off to march in the parade. However, when my neighbor places a call to have a
homeless guy removed from their driveway that had been sleeping there all night
and refusing to get out of the way for the resident to move their car out. They
were too busy and told the resident to wait until he leaves.Thanks
Burbank! Great help from the police there!Give them the millions for
their building and they feel more emboldened to implement their liberal in your
So now employers have to examine the philosophical view point of emplyees before
assigning them duties?The vegan who works at McDonalds can refuse to
serve, or cook, foods containing meat? The boss must reassign them to a job
with no contact with meat.Pacifists can refuse to provide services
to members of the military?Jehovah's Witnesses can refuse to
work with people who give blood, or who have received transfusions.This whole thing sounds like "conservative political correctness" to
@statman"Yup - a lawsuit is coming and it will be a slam dunk
for the cop."I wouldn't think so. He quit, he was not
fired, he was not reprimanded, he quit."Employers - including
police departments - are required by law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to
be exact) to make "reasonable" religious accommodations for their
employees. "Yep, but you forgot sub paragraph (j):
"...unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably
accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious
observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the
employer’s business." It's management's call to
accommodate--not the employees--and as long as management can show "undue
hardship" as a result of the accommodation they can refuse the request.
@Liberal Ted"Could you imagine if they hired a gay person and
asked them not to be gay when they worked?"I can. Remember
"Don't ask, don't tell"? Religious schools and hospitals do it
all the time. Now, you'll say, "well, religious organizations have a
right to expect their employees to live up to their religious codes and
beliefs!" I agree and my response to that will be, "well, any
organization has a right and an expectation that the employees they hire will do
those things the employer expects them to do." It has to work both ways.
Why, IF the officer asked to trade for a parade security or patrol assignment,
did the SLC PD ever come out with a public statement at all? Why make public
statements like: "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department,
and assignments are assignments," as the SLC PD Spokeswoman Laura Jones was
quoted as saying in a previous article where it was also noted the officer had
been placed on administrative leave. IF there was any way to accommodate the
officer’s request, the law requires such in accordance with Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act. IF the accommodation couldn’t reasonably be made,
an explanation should have been given the officer and the matter closed. This
seems like this should have been handled as a private personnel matter between
officer and manager.
While the issue of addressing a request to trade for a security or patrol
assignment could have been accomplished quietly, it seems this is a continuation
of SLC PD outwardly trying to make political statements in support of LGBT
politics. Last year Chief Burbank did not just work the parade, he
additionally, along with a few members of the SLC PD marched as part of the
parade. Now this year The PD makes their political statement placing an officer
on administrative leave and denouncing his reassignment request with "We
don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department” Seems like a
reasonable request that could have been worked with without taking a personnel
issue public unless the PD were looking to make a public statement with it all.
@FatherOfFourActually, I'm pretty sure he could find the Police
Department liable for defamation of character. It damaged his character as a
private citizen and cost him his job and therefore he could win.
geez, you would've thought they asked him to lead the parade with a rainbow
flag on his bike or something!!
The motorcade is an elite group, well trained in coordinated activity. It
isn't so easy to find a replacement.Good riddance to this man
who somehow thinks his religion puts him above his duty.
I am amazed as I read these comments how many of the ones that are against the
officer have taken only the fact that the officer asked to be reassigned AT THE
PARADE as not willing to protect and to serve. He was OK protecting and serving,
he WAS NOT ok performing. I also agree with so many, the police department
should have handled this in private if they could not accommodate the request
they should have addressed that in private with the officer. It appears that the
police department has some bias and bigotry of their own to deal with.
There is no gray area at all regarding this matter. The officer swore an oath to
"serve and protect" ALL not some or most. You either obey the
order/assignment or face the consequences! What would be next applying the same
backwards logic those of you which support this officer seem to be using in
order to excuse his actions. Refusal to properly investigate a crime which
involves gays? Could not imagine if I were gay and this obviously bigoted
officer was to pull me over. Was I really speeding or do you not like the fact I
have a rainbow flag emblem on my vehicle?
@ Liberal TedGlad I gave you the opportunity to vent. Hope you feel
better now.My point remains valid whether or not the PD improperly
released information to the public. This parade didn't have to be a
statement about him in any way. He made it so. If the PD improperly released
this information to the public, then consequences should follow there as well.
But their mistake does not erase his own. I don't give a flip
what Houston PD officers' opinions are about anyone or anything when
they're on duty. All I want to know is, "Can I count on you to do your
job?" This officer's answer to this question was, "Not
necessarily." IMO, this disqualifies him for service. I know I
wouldn't want to help pay his salary.
I honestly don't get the problem here. When police are at parades, no one
thinks they are actually marching in the parade as a participant. They are
there for security. Do you people who support this officer think that police
officers should be able to refuse to work at a Nazi parade? I doubt if any
police officers are ardent Nazi supporters, but nevertheless, they have to work
the stupid parade because crowd control and security IS THEIR JOB. This officer
should have done his job and stopped being a troublemaker. Seems like he was
trying to cause problems and stir up controversy.
Mark, If I found someone else to cover for me then yes I could not march in a
parade. Wilf, You are saying his problem is his feelings that he
felt uncomfortable? would you feel comfortable marching with the Black
Panthers? I be you would be begging someone to take your spot with something
you didn't agree with.
Father of Four, There is a reason why requirements to join the Navy are higher
than the Army.....
Liberal Jimmy asks, "Could not imagine if I were gay and this obviously
bigoted officer was to pull me over. Was I really speeding or do you not like
the fact I have a rainbow flag emblem on my vehicle?"This is not
a specious question. In the seventies, a group in Northern California recruited
ten black, ten white, and ten Hispanic men, all of whom had gone at least a year
without a ticket, and placed Black Panther Party bumper stickers on their cars.
Within a month, all thirty drivers had gotten moving vehicle
citations.The authors of the study considered (but didn't)
repeating the study with each car sporting two bumper stickers--one with the
Black Panther Party and one which said "Support Your Local Police".