Four respected San Diego firefighters were ordered, against their wishes, to participate in uniform on their city fire truck in the city's annual "Gay Pride" parade. During the course of the ensuing three hour long ordeal they were subjected to vile sexual taunts from homosexuals lining the parade route. This included the following statements: "show me your hose," "you can put out my fire," "you're making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," "you look hungry, why don't you have a Twinkie (from a man wearing a "Girth and Mirth" t-shirt)," and "blow my hose." These firemen are devoted husbands and fathers. When they refused to respond to the crowd, some of them turned hostile and started shouting "F-k you firemen" and others began flipping them off.
San Diego area attorney, Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Director of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is representing the Fire Fighters in their legal claims against the city. LiMandri was also the lead counsel in the successful Mt. Soledad Cross case in San Diego. A 52 year native San Diegan, LiMandri stated: "What happened to these dedicated public servants was inexcusable. The City should have known from past experience the kind of offensive activities that go on at this event. This was a clear case of sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law as well as the City's own code of conduct."
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center added, "These firefighters dedicated their lives to save the lives of others. They did not sign on to become unwilling props to a controversial political and social agenda."
Continued Thompson, "The constitutional right to free speech also protects the right not to speak. These men should not have to explain to their families, friends and church congregations that their presence at a celebration of lewdness and obscenity in support of the homosexual agenda was because they were forced by way of a direct order. This is a clear violation of their constitutional rights, and the City must be held accountable. It should never happen again to any city employee."
The firefighters were also targets of gross sexual gestures of the following: exposure of genitals, blowing kisses, grabbing of the crotch, rubbing of nipples, tongue gestures, men hugging and kissing one another passionately, many of them wearing make-up and dressed like women.
The so-called "gay pride" parade took place on July 21, 2007 in San Diego. On July 20, 2007, the four firefighters in question were told by their superiors that they would be participating in the parade. All four repeatedly protested that they did not wish to participate. In the past, firefighters that participated in the parade generally did so on a volunteer basis. On the morning of July 21, 2007, however, these same four firefighters were ordered into their dress uniforms and made to participate in the parade in their fire truck. The firefighters were left with the Hobson's choice of either violating their conscience or being disciplined for disobeying a direct order.
While on the parade route, the firefighters were subjected to the vulgar sexual harassment. To quote one of the firefighters: "You could not even look at the crowd without getting some type of sexual gesture." This firefighter further added: "If any crew member were to hang up pictures at the station of what we saw, we would be disciplined."
Local papers reporting on the parade made no mention of the lewd and offensive behavior that characterized the parade.
Brian Rooney, an attorney and Director of Communications at the Law Center who lived in San Diego for three years while serving as a Marine officer commented, "This event panders to the most base elements of what is advertised as ‘America's Finest City.' Even the homosexual community should be outraged and ashamed of the sexual harassment these firemen were forced to endure."
Thompson commented, "This is another example of how radical homosexual activists in positions of authority force their agenda on unwilling citizens. Although the local media avoided mentioning the debauchery and the obscenity that pervaded the parade, the general public should know what went on and how these firefighters were forced to participate against their will."
Fire Chief, Tracy Jarman, an open homosexual, stated, "This is a fun event and all employees are encouraged to participate." When Jarman was appointed Fire Chief she stated that her homosexuality has never been an issue at the department and she has never seen any gay related trouble. Rooney commented, "Obviously the environment at the department has changed for the worse since Jarman has been appointed Fire Chief. ‘Participation' should be a voluntary act — these four firefighters had no choice in the matter and that is wrong no matter what one's sexual orientation."