NYPD sergeant alleges antigay discrimination

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 10 2003 1:00 AM ET

A sergeant with the New York Police Department has filed a discrimination suit saying an inspector damaged his career by insinuating that he is gay, according to Newsday.

Sgt. Robert Sorrenti alleges in his suit, which also names the NYPD, that Insp. James Hall, head of Community Affairs, grilled him "extensively and inappropriately about his personal life" when Sorrenti applied in late 2001 for a transfer from the 76th Precinct to Youth Services, which is part of Community Affairs. Hall also asked Sorrenti about the nature of his relationship with a male officer who had accused Sorrenti of harassing him, an allegation the department had already found to be unsubstantiated.

Sorrenti says that even though he did well in interviews with two other supervisors, he was denied the transfer because Hall "engaged in rumor, innuendo, and gossip" about Sorrenti's sexual orientation.

"Hall disqualified Sorrenti from a number of supervisory assignments within the Youth Services section because he perceived Sorrenti to be a gay man and because he did not want a gay man around children," the suit reads.

Sorrenti, a 15-year veteran still assigned to the 76th Precinct, would not comment on the suit, but his lawyer, Colleen Meenan, said her client "resents the implication that he's a gay man. He does not identify as a gay man."