On January 16, 2009, pro-family attorney Charles LiMandri will be representing four courageous San Diego firefighters who are suing the city of San Diego for being forced to participate in the San Diego Gay Pride Parade on July 21, 2007. The four men — Captain John Ghiotto, engineer Jason Hewett, and firefighters Chad Allison and Alex Kane — objected to driving a city fire truck in the parade, but were ordered to do so to avoid disciplinary action, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. During the parade, they became “targets of obscene gestures and sexual comments,” says the newspaper.
According to LiMandri, who is West Coast director of the Thomas More Law Center, the firefighters’ complaint of sexual harassment against the city of San Diego is an important case. It represents a defense of some of our most basic tenets of freedom — namely freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
With those liberties now under blatant attack from around the country, this case is worth pursuing. According to the firefighters’ attorney, the case “will impact a lot of people who work in government.” If the four firefighters win, it will be great victory for freedom of speech. “Gay rights should not trump freedom of speech,” LiMandri told the Christian Mirror.
The San Diego attorney indicated to OneNewsNow that the four city employees “were given a direct order against their will to participate in the…Gay Parade” — an event that San Diego fire chief, Tracy Jarman, an open lesbian, described as a “fun event.” But during the parade, says LiMandri, the firefighters were subjected to “numerous, offensive ‘cat calls,’ gestures of sexual nature, and were the object of many obscene and lewd acts.”
LiMandri told me that City Attorney Mike Aguirre, while in office, “tried to make an example of these four fighters…[in the belief] that Christians should just go along and be quiet.” In November, Aguirre was ousted from office and replaced by Jan Goldsmith. With that change, LiMandri believes the chances are “very good” for a win this time.
The first time this case was taken up by the courts (in October) ended in a hung jury. And with the new case starting up in the New Year, the cost of this case continues to mount. The Apostle Paul admonished the church of Corinth with these words: “[W]hether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (I Cor. 12:26) In that light, I’m asking Christians to help these four courageous men by donating to their defense fund — FirefightersDefenseFund.org.
Editor’s note: Charles LiMandri, a devout Catholic, is perhaps best known for his work of defending the historic cross atop Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, California — a battle that began in 1989. Today, the cross still stands even though atheists and groups like the ACLU continue to oppose it.
[This article originally appeared on OneNewsNow and is used by permission of the author.]