Saturday, September 20, 2008

CA Gay Pride: Firefighters Sexually Harassed, Lesbian Fire Chief Admits

Fire Chief Tracy Jarman and the assistant chief who ordered four San Diego firefighters to attend last year's gay pride parade testified . . . that they understand how [the firefighters] could find the event offensive.

-- From "Fire chief recounts gay pride parade" by Tony Manolatos, San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer 9/19/08

The firefighters – John Ghiotto, Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison – are suing the city for unspecified damages. They said they were sexually harassed at the parade and mistreated at work after filing complaints. The trial began Monday before Judge Michael Anello and is expected to last two more weeks.

The four men say they suffered emotional distress because of what they saw and heard: cat calls, simulated sex acts among men wearing nothing but briefs, and lewd comments and gestures.

Jarman and Assistant Chief Jeff Carle marched in last year's parade ahead of Engine 5, which carried the four firefighters. Neither Jarman nor Carle said they felt sexually harassed, but both testified that they can see why the parade would offend some people.

It's the biggest parade in the city, drawing more than 100,000 spectators to Hillcrest, home to a large gay population.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.