Four straight San
Diego firefighters who were required to participate in
the 2007 San Diego pride parade will soon be able to argue
their sexual harassment case in front of a jury. San
Diego Fire-Rescue Department captain John Ghiotto,
engineer Jason Hewett, and firefighters Chad Allison
and Alex Kane told KGTV that "during the parade, bystanders
taunted them with sexually explicit comments and colleagues
called to tease them for participating in the
Maurice Luque said the men were called in after another
crew, which volunteered to participate, canceled at the last
minute because one firefighter had a family emergency,
"I was forced
into a situation that would compromise what I hold true
and what I believe in," Hewett said.
After the parade
the firefighters lodged a complaint with the Department
of Fair Employment and Housing, requesting the right to file
a suit against the SDFD. After word of this letter
reached the public, complaints reportedly poured
into the firehouse, causing Ghiotto and another
firefighter to transfer.
attorney, Charles LiMandri of the Thomas More Law
Center, a nonprofit law firm focused on defending Christian
faith-based ideals, will attempt to prove that
it was unlawful to require his clients to participate
in what they deem a "political event."
The SDFD has participated in the parade for 15
years, but since the 2007 complaints firefighter
participation has been made strictly voluntary.
arguments are scheduled to begin September 4, and jury
selection will commence September 8. (The