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.
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?
Perhaps he should leave the SLC public police force and find work with a private
security firm where he would feel more comfortable.
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!
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.
"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments
are assignments," Jones said FridayInteresting 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!
***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.
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
Hats off to that policeman for standing up what he believes in.
Chris Burbank and Mayor Becker have been watching too many old videos of the
village people, and Rick James, SLC is getting supper freaky.
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.
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.
"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
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.
No one should be forced to ride in the parade. I was disgusted by what I saw
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.
"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.
I hope this officer is given a full opportunity to explain his side. I would be
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.
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.
Yeah, right: feeling uncomfortable in a gay parade is 'bias and
bigotry'. The statement "We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in
the department..." is clear in conveying that your values don't matter
when it's not our values; it's intolerance of your values and
opinions--intolerance of you to support what is certainly to most powerful
political social faction in American history. I would have taken the
assignment, but there should be some sensitivity to others' concerns.
The duty of a police officer is to serve and protect, not perform and entertain.
It sounds as if this matter could have been handled quietly within the
department by allowing the officer to serve in another capacity as he requested.
For some reason the SLCPD has decided to make a public display of the matter.
I wonder how many bad mouthing this officer would refuse his assistance when in
need of help. "Please send another officer, this is the guy that did not
want to ride in the Gay Pride Parade."
I would gladly donate to a fund to help the officer get on his feet until he
gets a new job!
if I was forcede to dress like a cop from the village people and ride in a gay
parade as the first float, I would quit too.....Next year Bradshaw
can be the cop, Becker the cowboy, and Rocky the Constuction dude, and Obama the
leatheer biker..... no one will think them gay?@mornixuurSo,
just to make sure I've got this correctly:A) He's
insubordinate.B) He quit without proper noticeC) As a policeman, he
doesn't see fit to work with all law-abiding members of the community.He could be POTUS!!
Lara Jones calls it bias and bigotry for the officer refusing to "honor"
the gay pride parade, I call it denial and bigotry towards traditional christian
values. Shame on the SLPD! The liberal left and gay movement are putting our
religious liberties at risk.
According to officer, maybe he didn't refuse, just asked to be reassigned.
A possible "knee jerk" action on the part of his supervisor? Someone
here said " as public servents we have no choice to perform our duties
regardless of our personal feelings". That may be true, however, I work for
the Arizona department of corrections, and have a Lt. who should have never been
put in charge of people. Maybe a lawsuit should be in order.
Why are people so quick to judge and then condemn when they haven't heard
this officer's side of the story? Everyone I know, including myself,
flunked mind-reading, but it seems the Gay community wants to rush to judgment
at the slightest hint that someone is "uncomfortable" riding in a LGBT
parade. I always thought that knowing and understanding the truth was the most
important aspect of any situation. If this officer's moral conscience
precludes him from riding at the head of the parade, but would rather work a
security detail at the same event, so what. This abysmal lack of tolerance on
the Gay community's side will only further alienate people from their
cause. Judge not, lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1-3).
The gay and lesbian community are overreacting to this. It is the wo is me
attitude, it goes against what they believe so it must be wrong. I don't
like that attitude and never will. That is why they will never have my support.
When they start accepting my beliefs then they may have support but until then
I could care less.
Clearly the SLCPD has shown bias and bigotry in not allowing this officer to
follow his religious conscience. I hope this turns into a law suit that
religious conscience prevails. I don't think anyone should be forced to
participate in this thing in a way that tends to imply endorsement. I'm
disgusted with the Salt Laker Police Department.
It is denial and bigotry towards 'traditional christian values' And
it's about time this started to happen. The liberal left and gay movement,
if there is such a thing, need to be a part of the elimination of the special
position religion has proclaimed itself to have in our society. It just
religion. It's not fact or reality.
Never, at any time, should someone evoke "religious conviction" to
express dislike of other people because of their race, nationality, or gender
orientation. It is unacceptable discrimination. It's even worse
when this dislike is expressed by someone who at all times should be willing to
serve and protect any person. It doesn't matter what the detail of this
police officer's assignment was. He expressed his dislike of a certain
class of people and proved himself unfit for his duty.
This guy was "uncomfortable" riding ahead of (not participating in) a
parade to make sure the streets were clear of traffic and pedestrians. That is
NOT what Salt Lake City needs its police police force. His job was to protect
and defend everyone, not just those with whom he has some sort of connection.
Maybe I missed something? Nowhere in the story printed here did it say the
offices refused the assignment. It said he ASKED for a different assignment in
the parade that day. It did not say that he refused anything.
I just lost all respect I had for the SLPD and Chief Burbank.
Complete lack of professionalism. Poor baby. He didn't feel
"comfortable." So? Because he didn't feel
comfortable, he wants someone else on the force to do that assignment instead of
him? How's that fair to his colleagues? Where's so Christian about
that? Asking someone else to do what you wouldn't do is hardly being
brave, fair, or neighborly. If it's good enough for your fellow officer to
do, then it's good enough for you to do. Or would you rather that someone
else be "uncomfortable" instead of you?And what are his
superior officers supposed to do? Maybe they don't like the parade,
either, and didn't like having to choose officers to be assigned to it.
But, they did their job, and he should have done his instead of whining and
kvetching. NYPD officers call it "The Job," and it's a higher
calling than any individual officer. Very few of the thousands of officers who
stand in the sun for hours to guard NYC's huge Pride parade from being shot
up or bombed by RWNJs are gay themselves, but their commitment to public safety
and The Job comes first.
Burbank himself has set an expectation by marching in the parade. Such behavior
has no relation to protecting the citizens. It is a PR event and as such should
not be required of officers.Crowd control IS a police duty; traffic
control is a police duty; monitoring the crowd for illegal activity is a police
duty; synchronized motorcycle riding is not.An officer cannot be compelled
to "perform" in a parade.This publicity stunt to show that the
SLCPD is non-discriminatory will cost the taxpayers dearly.
"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments
are assignments," Jones said Friday.Apparently toleration is a one way
street in our PC world. I thought that was the whole point of the parade?
I know of no religion that imposes penalties on its members for being civil to
homosexuals, and certainly no religion that considers it a sin to be around LGBT
people, much less to perform your professional duties of public safety.Jesus ate, drank, and hung out with all kinds of "sinners", and was
heavily criticized for it.Did He "feel uncomfortable"? If
so, there is no record of it. He seems to have felt much more uncomfortable
among the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and scribes who were so hyper-zealous that they
forgot to be humane.Did this (former) officer think himself above
It's beyond disgusting that that homosexual community, while demanding
respect for themselves, completely fail to respect the beliefs and feelings of
others.It is this kind of bullying that makes others fear the day
when a minister will be forced to perform homosexual "marriages" no
matter what his or her conscience says about the matter.What a fine
message: "You WILL respect us -- OR ELSE!"I, for one, find
it much easier to respect people who are not trying to force me to respect them.
How many people are simply remaining silent now and are allowing themselves to
be bullied into silence even though they may disagree with the homosexual agenda
of total acceptance of their lifestyle?I'm willing to bet that
this comment will be denied by DN's censors. Further proof of the
It is very sad that this story would even make the news, let alone generate so
much controversy. We all have things that make us uncomfortable - speaking in
public, heights, standing on ledges, swimming, flying, etc., etc., etc. It is a
very, very poor leader who will force someone to do something that makes them
uncomfortable when there are plenty of others who are ready, willing, and able
to fulfill the assignment. Jones is the one who is in need of counseling and
much more leadership training. Volunteers should have been asked for if anyone
felt uncomfortable. I would have been happy to have accepted that assignment or
for one protecting the President - any President. It would have been an honor
I refused to participate in the Day's of 47 parade for fear that other
would perceive me to be pro-Mormon. I was fired by my company for doing so.
This story sounds eerily familiar.
As a civil servant, especially in the capacity of military and law enforcement;
you voluntarily give up certain rights when you put on that uniform.An officer in the Army cannot speak ill of the President in an official
capacity. He is free to hold whatever view he pleases, but must voice that view
only in certain times and places. As a Soldier, I could not pick what
assignments I had, nor refuse to do anything meted out to me. If I felt it
compromised who I was as a person, I was free to talk with my superiors. If
they felt the concern warranted, they would alter the assignment, or remove me
from the detail. If they chose not to, I felt my conscious was clear. If the
order was illegal, there were channels with whom I could raise my concern.However, I fail to see the religious distinction here. The officer was
not asked to participate in the parade, but only to secure it. I fail to see in
any teachings of any church were we must treat LGBT as anything less than
American Citizens and Children of God.
I understand that the officer was asked not just to lead but to swerve around to
"Jazz" up things. As I understand things, he felt that this give his
tacit endorsement of the events, which he didn't feel comfortable. If he
was asked just to be security detail, I don't think he has much of a case,
but if he was asked to do things that might make view as endorsing the events, I
think there is another issue there and I think it would be within his rights to
not do this particular assignment.
This is the type of equality that we are moving towards. The officer could have
expressed discomfort about just about any other assignment and chances are some
accommodations might have been made. But if a person doesn't personally
feel comfortable about the GLBT agenda, they are put on leave, or forced to
resign as in the case of the former CEO of Mozilla Firefox. Freedom of Speech
is alive and well in our society, provided that it is politically correct
It is clear to me that only people of one opinion regarding gay issues will be
afforded the protection of having a first amendment. Those who find it
incompatible with their religious beliefs are rapidly finding themselves the
target of a new bigotry, an American landscape in which they are not welcome.
Sadly, I sympathize with the officer in question. He could have been
accommodated easily by switching assignments in the same parade. Someone
evidently knew that leading the parade would agitate him. Unfortunately, the
department had no choice. I would comment to Ms. Jones that we all make
decisions every day which discriminate. This extends from the simple choice of a
green shirt or blouse over a blue one to putting murderers in prison. Our
society has to have standards. As a nation, we are losing our focus. It is a
matter of setting up standards for society or radical groups will impose it for
All posters who are blaming the LGBT public for this policeman's problems
(Chris B, One old man, etc, please read the story again. The LGBT citizens did
not fire this policeman, SLC did. A policeman is given an assignment. He
either follows orders or he resigns. The police cannot have a force where every
officer is questioning every decision, just like the military. That is
chaos!Most police officers and those in the military are not
comfortable shooting people. But it is what they signed up for - protecting and
serving ALL citizens. As soon as you have one or two that question their
assignments and get away with it, you will have the breakdown of order and
anarchy in the ranks. The military and the police are NOT democracies. Those
who join their ranks actually give up the right of speech in many instances.
The more things like this happen the more we are going to LBGTXQRED movement.
These bullying tactics are applauded and anyone with a different opinion is
shouted down, fired, harassed, censored, etc. This makes us want to stand
against you more. We would be more accepting if you would tone it down
I'm sure that anything I post here won't make it through the Deseret
News censor because anyone saying that maybe, just maybe, religious beliefs can
be the basis of bigotry and that this officer overreacted. It sounds like he
wasn't pushed, he jumped.
@ Gatsby"...he did not want to seem to condone their views by
leading their parade."I agree that people shouldn't
automatically be considered bigoted for their LGBT-related positions. But I
wonder if you understand how the claim of "religious conscience" is
undermined with statements like yours. They reflect a concern with how other
human beings see you rather than how your god does.Presumably the
officer's/cake baker's/photographer's god is powerful enough to
know what's in their hearts regardless of the uncomfortable positions life
inevitably presents? And if their god doesn't understand this, then they
would have known they couldn't obey the laws or live up to the oaths before
they said they could, yes?So this doesn't come across as fealty
to one's god, but rather as fealty to one's self. This comes across
as "it is more important that I appear righteous than that I live up to my
word" and as "I want the benefits without the responsibilities."
This still doesn't make one a bigot, but it doesn't speak
to the claim of "religious conscience" either. I think it speaks to
Speaking as an ex-motorcycle officer for a local Salt Lake valley police
department, this should have been a volunteer motor assignment, not fully
assigned. Every motor event that we had, except for the specified city parades
(2 per year), was volunteer and paid overtime or a shift differential, including
float escorts, traffic support for when the President came, funeral escorts,
annual MDA Ride, and other benefit events. Salt Lake City PD has a motor squad
of over 30 motors. I highly doubt all 30 were assigned to this private parade.
I would imagine that every other officer that worked "security" for this
parade did so on a volunteer basis, separate from their assigned shift. SLCPD
did not pull regular officers off of their assigned beat to work security for
this parade. They pulled in extra officers - those who wanted the extra pay.
It should have been the same for the motors. If he was required by SLCPD to
attend this parade, as a motor, then I think it's SLCPD that messed up.
Why are there so many comments saying that this is about the LGBT community
being bigoted? I don't see anywhere in this story that anyone from the
LGBT community said anything. I know that many people who read the Deseret News
like to immediately jump to the "see, it's the gays who are really
bigoted because they call us bigots because we just have a disagreement when we
try to deny them having equal rights", but in this case it seems like they
didn't even read the story.
Can you imagine a police officer, assigned to stand guard in front of a
synagogue or a mosque, to refuse because he feels "uncomfortable" about
Jews or Muslims? This is exactly the same in this case. It's a question of
a fundamental attitude of respect and tolerance for any class of people.
Violation of the law of chastity is more serious than dishonesty.If
thieves and liars hijacked the word "daring" (the way homosexuals
hijacked the word "gay") and demanded that theirs be recognized as an
"alternative lifestyle" because they were "born that way" and
demanded that larceny and perjury be decriminalized and jeered at people who
disagreed with them as "bigots" and held "daring pride" parades,
would people in general tolerate that?
So what's the difference between a policeman refusing a mission because of
a personal religious view and a Marine who may have let his personal religion
get in the way of his military obligation? Or a businessman who would allow his
personal religion to unlawfully discriminate his employees or customers. American freedom says that we should not force a person to do something
that he doesn't want to do. However when a person accepts the obligations
of a voluntary group, failure to accept the missions of the group can get you
fired, disallowed, discharged or maybe even killed as a consequence. The successful existence of any group or society requires that it be able to
enforce its rules upon its members. The only legit way to not follow the rules
is to not join the group.
Extremism is the thing to fear. I think we all want equality deep down. The sad
thing is when ours has to come at the expense of someone else's. It's
interesting how many changing demographics I've seen already in my life.
For example the ethnic/cultural makeup of So. Calif. or the religious makeup of
Europe. We read history books and wonder how the horrors of the 1940's
could have taken place while we remain mute as an oppressive Syrian regime (to
name just one)has killed well over 200,000 in just the past couple of years. We
need to learn to get along.
"make sure the streets were clear of traffic and pedestrians" Was not
the assignment. Performing close drills was the request, performing on the
motorcycle team is a volunteer action not a police assignment. Driving up and
down the parade route for security, traffic and pedestrians was not the
assignment requested. Chris Burbank chooses which laws he will
enforce, as he stated in public interviews. He set the stage for biased actions
on his force. I hope he is named in the defamation law suit, along with Sim
Gill, and Jones. This was an internal matter and should have been handled
internally. The fact it was made in the public arena with political figures
defaming the officer, have guaranteed this officer will have a great retirement
paid for by Salt Lake City taxpayers. I expect the law suit will be settled in
the millions. But publicity of the settlement will get buried.
I compose music and enjoy many styles from a broad range. But if I were asked to
compose music for an adult film, will I be forced to accept the project, thus
attaching my name and tacit endordsement of the product? What if it were a gay
adult film, will I face fines or jail time for refusing the work based on
moral/religious grounds?I went to a deli in NY and ordered a burger.
I asked for cheese, but they declined because they were a kosher deli. I
didn't complain or launch a lawsuit!Where are my rights to LIVE
my religion? And who allowed is decide for me what living my religion means? And
who can decide that my personal religious beliefs which are not uncommon, if
acted upon, are against the law? What happened to live and let live, or this
coexist bumper sticker I see sometimes?
@Wilf 55 He comments "Can you imagine a police officer, assigned to stand
guard in front of a synagogue or a mosque, to refuse because he feels
"uncomfortable" about Jews or Muslims? This is exactly the same in this
case."No Wilf it is requiring the police officer to enter the
synagogue or mosque and worship with the people in the synagogue or mosque. Big
I see no problem in standing up for your religious beliefs. The officer did not
want it to look as if he was in support of Gay Rights. He asked for a different
assignment for the parade. Understandable. There is no bigotry here. If called
upon, he would do his job to protect all. But to suspend him for not riding his
motorcycle in support of Gay Pride,.... I think the Salt Lake Police Department
should be ashamed of themselves for letting down a fellow officer. This man has
courage to stand for his religious beliefs. So... Thank you officer, and sorry
we some people with so little respect for that kind of courage. Your not just
going with the flow. Thanks again.
Keep in mind that this officer had to apply to part of the "Motor
Squad." According to the Police Department website: "The
squad works many special events during the year, including parades, funerals,
sporting events, runs, and more. The squad is mostly known for its precision
riding during the 24th of July parade, which is attended by thousands of
community members."He knew he would be participating in
"parades" when he applied for the job. The Pride Parade has been in SLC
for how long. Seems reasonable that this duty was part of the job when he
applied for the position.Also as part of his Oath for Office: "I
will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political
beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decision. With
no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will
enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear of favor, malice of
ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting
gratuities."Just how were his rights violated?
Being a motor cop is an assignment one volunteers for. One of the primary
functions is to perform in parades. He acknowledged this when he accepted the
offer to become a member. He took a spot from others who wanted this prime
assignment. And now he's upset because they asked him to participate in a
parade that made him uncomfortable? The unit accepted the invitation; members
of the unit are obligated, by contract, to participate.
The Courts recently ruled in favor of a dept that disciplined an officer for
refusing to participate in a community building event at a mosque.
Interesting how he was automatically looked upon as being a "bigot" when
all he was saying was he was "uncomfortable" "for the assignment of
riding in-front of the parade due to his religious beliefs." I guess he was
already looked upon as "guilty with no room of proven innocent." I
firmly believed that the PR communication from SLCPD in-front of the media was
done very poorly by the Spokesperson who of course was saying what the
SLCPD's policy was saying but came out as if was saying like this Police
Officer was a "bigot."
"We enforce bias and bigotry in the department, regardless of 1st amendment
protections concerning religious liberty” is what Jones really said
Friday. Skeptic,He has. I guess you did not read the
articleCowboyPhD,If they were being assaulted, or had their
home burglarized, I’m confident he would have served them as his job
required. He should not be required to help them celebrate their sexuality.mornixuur,no, you missed it. He asked for reassignment.CHS85,So medical people who oppose abortion should be forced to perform
them?Patrick Henry, DarrellRead the 1st amendment, then try
again. If government is forcing them to leave their beliefs at the door, the
government is violating the 1st amendment. Government makes religious
accommodations ALL THE TIME!Hutterite,Thanks for supporting my
assertion that the gay movement wants to do away with the first amendment
religious protections.I M LD_ 2Jesus did not condone the sins,
either, as this afficer felt he was being asked to do.Old man,For once I agree with you.UltraBob,Ever hear of a
Superman1 has it right:"SLCPD did not pull regular officers off
of their assigned beat to work security for this parade. They pulled in extra
officers - those who wanted the extra pay. It should have been the same for the
motors. If he was required by SLCPD to attend this parade, as a motor, then I
think it's SLCPD that messed up."I've known a few
police officers and events like this (parades) usually fall on the volunteer
side of their duties, for those who want a little "overtime" so to
speak. I've never known someone to get put on leave for being
uncomfortable with an assignment like this.Would it not be
acceptable for a police chief to grant the wishes of a black officer to decline
leading a KKK or white supremacist parade? Or a gay officer to attend an
anti-gay rally? I'm sure there would be plenty of other officers who could
work in their place. If "serve and protect" is the motto of our police,
wouldn't people be better served and protected if the officer assigned felt
comfortable doing it?"We don't tolerate intolerance"
1) He was NOT unwilling or refusing to serve select members of the community
(LGBT)2) He "asked" for a different assignment, but was willing to
do it anyway if his request was refused.3) He was still willing to serve
and protect ALL people by asking to be placed on duty in a serving and
protecting capacity - NOT a ceremonial one.4) Without responding to his
request, he was placed on leave and the media was notified.5) His attorney
responded to the media, while the department declined, citing bigotry and making
sure to declare that they have gay officers on the staff.There was
no bigotry involved here. No insubordination or refusal to do a job. The
department will be sued and will lose or settle out of court. It could have been
avoided if they had just declined the officer's request, forcing him to
then make the choice.
All this time we have been hearing that the officer refused to serve in the gay
activity. He claims he merely ASKED for a role in this activity that was less
public. If the officer is correct, those who lied about him deserve to lose
their job in the force.
Remember this, many of you, if your house goes up in flames. Perhaps some of
the firemen won't like putting out fires in houses that are yellow, or
putting out fires in Christian homes, etc. Public service is PUBLIC
SERVICE. Most of you I'm guessing have never held a position of public
trust. Nowhere does your oath give you the option to decide which aspect of the
PUBLIC you will serve.
I knew it would be a mistake to read the comments to this article. So much hate.
Many of your comments are very hurtful.
Re: "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"...I have a problem with this logic. If the police
department riding in the gay pride parade indicates the riders are
"endorsing" or "advocating" in favor of the LGBTQ community...
does that mean the PD riding in the days of 47 parade indicates endorsing or
advocating the pioneer community?Obviously it doesn't. This
was bad logic on his part. He should have just done his job.====He did offer to work security though (which is the PDs REAL job). They
should have let him do security instead of actually appearing in the parade or
be fired.Both sides could have handled this better IMO.
@CHS"Public service is PUBLIC SERVICE."False.
Trying to equate an LGBT parade to a house burning down is a terrible
comparison. Please stop with the phony straw-man hyperbole.The man
DID not refuse to protect the LGBT parade, he merely requested a different
assignment because he felt uncomfortable riding with a group that he disagreed
with. The only bigotry and hate here came from the department in disrespecting
its employees beliefs. Instead of denying his request for a different
assignment, amicably, they instead chose hate and bigotry.More and
more people are coming to the conclusion that the real bigotry and hate is
coming from the LGBT community because of actions like this and many others.
Here's my advice: If you want people to come out and accept your cause, do
it with love and respect. Ask for tolerance by showing tolerance. This type of
hate will only cause more and more people to turn your backs on your cause.Learn to love and respect people that peacefully disagree with your
I support fully this officer's feelings and beliefs. Good for him for
standing for what he believes. The force lost an exceptional police officer and
someday they will realize this. I wouldn't want to ride near or in front of
a group of people of whom I do not support or believe are right in their
endeavors. I'm proud of this officer.
That is SO wrong. Shame on the Salt Lake Police Department. Shame, shame on
men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?
"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments
are assignments," Jones said Friday.Police officers job is to
provide security. Not to endorse one view point or another. The article said
that he was doing because of his religious views. Why then does Jones say that
it was because of bigotry? if the department doesn't tolerate bias and
bigotry then why is the department spokesperson making statements like this.
Should Jones be terminated for making such judgmental, bigoted statements. Fair
is fair.In 1980 neo-Nazis wanted to have a march in Skokie, Il, The
city would not give them a permit. The ACLU sued and won. Skokie had to give
them a permit. There were officers who had to provide security to the march.
That is proper and decent. But they did not have to show support to the march.
@LovelyDesert...I'll make certain to make this as elementary as possible.
Obviously you are against equality for all but you attended this parade anyway?
Makes perfect sense based on your highly intellectual comments regarding this
issue. In closing, I'm offended by your posts so therefore I feel you
should stop commenting...Get my point?
There is still a lot of misinformation going on about this. According to the
officer's lawyer, the officer was asked to participate in a motorcycle
group that performs in the parade. The officer was being told to participate in
the parade, not to protect the people.Imagine your boss told you
that you had to participate in something outside your job function, and was
something you do not agree with. Would you look to find somebody to replace you
or would you give up?
@dmcvey: "Why are there so many comments saying that this is about the LGBT
community being bigoted?"Simple. There are a lot of gay people
who come to this page and talk about being liberal this and liberal that. As
soon as someone disagrees with their views says something all of a sudden they
sound like some right wing Arizona sheriff talking about illegal immigrants and
law and order and they've never heard of diversity or tolerance. If an
Oregon florist won't sell flowers for a gay wedding I am hearing,
"Businesses exist to make money, not to have morals." It sounds like
someone from Enron or a Las Vegas casino magnate talking to the Tea Party.It is hard to tell who is liberal and who is just a closet conservative.
This is in regards to the officer who was assigned to participate in the gay
pride parade. Officers pay comes from tax payers and these officers represent
the tax payers and have a position in the community. Participating in an agenda
based parade shows endorsement! NO officers in uniform should be participating
in a parade that represents a political agenda at all, let alone forced! This
officer should be commended for standing up for what is right. Write to the
mayor and our governor. This man should be reinstated and promoted and his
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."
@keepamericafree;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.
@lost in DcSome 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.
Matthew 22:15-2115 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
My two cents worth, wow! That's quite a stretch, never heard an
interpretation like that one.
@Tekakaromatagi, so because liberal blah, blah, blah you get to misrepresent the
story? That's logical.
Darrell,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.my_two_centsthe 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.
big•ot•rynoun, plural big•ot•ries. 1.
stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs
from one's own. bi•asnoun 1. a particular
tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration
of a question; prejudiceHow 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...
@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.
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
@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
@lost in dcA 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.
@stormwalker @stormwalkerThere 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.
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.
@JOANOFARC"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.
@patriot 11:13 a.m. June 10, 2014men 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
"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.
@LiberalTedAs 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?
@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.
"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.
Helaman 13: 13-14
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of
bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did
she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty, and
committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw
good.” -Ezekiel 16:49-50It seems a city is in danger when the
citizens are wealthy and full of pride and refused to help the poor. Sort of an encouragement to "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Contrast this officer's "discomfort" with that of the photo of
police officers in Wisconsin delivering cake to newlywed LGBT couples at the
courthouse.@JOANOFARC;Their opinions are just that;
their opinions. Just because they don't like it doesn't mean they get
to dictate that others cannot do it.You say you don't
"celibrate something you consider wrong"; but you're all too
willing to vote to deny others the ability to do that, making them live by your
standards, which is itself "wrong".@Liberal Ted;We want these officers to server EVERYBODY equally. Is that too much to
ask?@Karen R.;Beautifully stated.@21MOM;Fiction 13: 13-14, similar to saying: "Harry Potter: pg 32 line
To "LiberalJimmy" please explain how he would serving the public
interest or protecting the public by driving his motorcycle in the parade and
putting on a show. Remember, he was very willing to protect and serve, he
didn't want to entertain the public.To "Stormwalker"
explain how entertaining the crowd during a parade has anything to do with pride
or refusing to help the poor.You throw around scripture to justify
your position, yet this issue has nothing to do with that scripture.
I think this spokeswoman should have to resign. She charged in there pretty fast
to label this guy as a bigot, exposing the department to an easy defamatory
an officer who is unable to serve the community as a motor cycle escort cannot
be trusted to serve the community as a security, police presence. your religious
and personal beliefs have no place in serving the community you swore to serve.
if you want to show your religious and personal beliefs, get a job in the
private or religious sector.
To "pythagorion" but he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He
was go to be doing motorcycle tricks and formation driving for a parade.
In my view Laura Jones' "bias and bigotry" comment was biased and
bigoted. I hope the Salt Lake Police Dept. will see that she receives some
sensitivity training toward people with different points of view. Diversity and
inclusivity standards should also respect people who differ due to ideals of
conscience and religious beliefs.As a long-time parade watcher,
I've seen where police have performed "policing functions." Rather
like when the police provide a funeral escort. Other times I've seen them
as active participants in and supporters of the parade. I'm fine with our
police department providing safety and crowd control services for the Pride
Parade, just as they did for the Salt Lake Marathon. But I object to any show of
support or solidarity with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which
operates with my taxes.
RedShirtUSS Enterprise, UTTo "pythagorion" but
he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He was go to be doing motorcycle
tricks and formation driving for a parade.----------Redshirt,
do you know that when he signed up for the motorcycle division, he was aware
that he would be "performing" in parades. There are only about 30
members of that division. If he only wanted to be in parades that he agreed
with, he shouldn't have put his hat in ring for that responsibility, should
he? He did not want to do one of the duties of a motorcycle cop in SLC.If Obama came to town, would he have the right not to escort him because
he felt "uncomfortable" and it might look like he agrees with Obama and
is supporting Obamas ideas? Same thing.
@klimber510"But I object to any show of support or solidarity
with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which operates with my
taxes."And I would object to any show of support or solidarity
with Mormon events such as the Days of 47 parade on the part of a service which
operates with my taxes. See how that works?
Homosexuals: "Yes, everyone can keep their freedom of speech in our world.
You see, we love ALL people and accept everyone no matter what."Well, maybe not.....
Being a public servant means that you are expected to serve ALL the public, not
just the ones whose lifestyle you agree with. Should other police officers be
able to decide which members of the public they will serve and protect ? How
about firefighters ? Should they decide whose home should be saved and whose
they should let burn because they are of a different religion or sexual
orientation ? It's not like the officer was asked to march in the parade,
he was asked to do what he does all day, ride his motorcycle and keep people
safe. If he can't put aside his personal prejudice and do that for everyone
then he has no business being a police officer.
The LGBT has become the very thing they are supposed to be fighting against.
This isn't about civil rights, this is about revenge. The LGBT
reminds me of the little boy off the twilight zone who would send people into
the cornfield for thinking bad thoughts about him. Free speech only
applies to them and to those who agree with them. Say something bad and lose
I am LDS 2"I know of no religion that imposes penalties on its
members for being civil to homosexuals, and certainly no religion that considers
it a sin to be around LGBT people, much less to perform your professional duties
of public safety."So if someone wanted you to be in a Bud Light
commercial, would you do it?
Anti Bush-ObamaChihuahua, 00The LGBT has become the very
thing they are supposed to be fighting against. This isn't about civil
rights, this is about revenge.--------------The LGBT
people had nothing to do with this. The SLC police department decided to put
this cop on leave and he then resigned.I think you owe the
LGBT's an apology for demeaning them when they had nothing to do with this
problem. Let's see if you will...
This Officer applied for a coveted job in the SLCPD and later claims being
uncomfortable?This is a "Special Operations Unit", meaning
he had to agree to the terms of his employment in order to be accepted. The "Pride Parade" has been in SLC for a very long time and is
the second largest event in UT. Part of his Oath of Office includes
leaving personal opinions out of performance of duties.In addition,
SLC has made the appropriate decision to include sexual orientation in
antidiscrimination ordinances. As I recall, even The Mormon Church
endorsed that ordinance, right?
Blue Angels. Thunderbirds. Golden Knights. Navy Band. Army Band. Motorcycle
Units. Equestrian units. Cops and Firefighters doing demos at schools,
festivals, and fairs.The SLPD Motor Unit was not representing Gays,
anymore than it represents Mormons in the Pioneer Day parade. It represents the
Police Department to that community and to the larger community, just like all
those other groups. Which is why this officer was removed. His
prejudice and fear runs so deep that he made the irrational leap that
representing the Police Department to the LGBT community might make people think
he is gay. How far from there to believing that treating a Gay
person fairly in a traffic stop might cause somebody to think he is gay?Or being compassionate to a Gay crime victim might mean somebody would
think he is gay? Or providing full backup to another officer, who is
gay, might look gay to somebody watching? I would not want this cop
to stop me or show up if I called 911... and since he was not identified, he
becomes all SLPD cops. Getting him off the force was reasonable and
@RedShirt...Just out of curiosity what is your "news" source? His job
during the parade was to "entertain"? Wow! Absolutely 100% FALSE. This
officer was given an assignment/order. You either obey or resign. There is no
gray area in this matter. In closing, I noticed you did not mention the firemen
example. How about that part of my original post? Is this what you desire?
"Sorry Sir/Mam we obviously do not agree politically so I guess you will
have to search out a conservative firemen to extinguish this fire". Please!
@Stormwalker...Amen my friend. Absolutely brilliant post. Can you hear the
crickets in SLC all the way from Cleveland?
@Stormwalker"Getting him off the force was reasonable and
prudent."Getting him off the force was anything but reasonable.
He felt uncomfortable with his assignment and asked to change it. All this
because of his religious beliefs. When did exercising rights guaranteed by the
Constitution become "bigotry"? The "hateful bigots" are those
individuals who disregard others personally held religious beliefs and punish
them for acting on those beliefs. These decisions made by this officer did not
harm anyone, but he was still punished regardless of this.
@Avenue...Apparently ignorance is bliss. Police officers swear an oath to
"serve and protect" ALL! Not some. Please reference my example of a
Catholic police officer with the same concerns regarding The Mormon Pioneer Day
Parade as well as the firemen analogy. Anxiously awaiting your response.
@LiberalJimmyThis officer would have been serving and protecting all
if the department would have allowed him to work in security. Is leading the
parade the only way this officer could have fulfilled his oath? The officer
would have done a much better job doing something he was more comfortable doing,
rather than something that made him feel like he was celebrating immorality. All
Americans have the constitutional right to a religion, and this right is not
revoked when an officer puts a badge on his chest.