Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Officer Refusing to Work SLC Gay Pride Speaks Out

The officer who asked to switch assignments internally with another officer during SLC gay pride 2014 decided at this time (where laws concerning equal rights for LGBT and religious liberty) to voice his opinion and share his side of the story.

This officer was trained to be in a motorcycle performance that usually participates in any major parades in the city. This year's pride parade seemed to him to be promoting the 'gay lifestyle', for which he was clearly against. He sent an email internally to switch assignments. Although the wording of the email was not disclosed, Officer Moutsos made it out to seem innocent. When the chief saw this request, it was denied.

At this point, the officer decided he would do the assignment, but was suspended for discrimination. As the suspension was made public, the officer decided to resign. Although he would have worked his way through the situation and could have remained an officer, he felt his labelling as a bigot was enough to end his police career.

Chief Burbank stated that any hint of bias or personal discrimination was not tolerated in his police officers. A small reaction is enough to say there is a chance that the bias could make the difference in protecting someone in a life-threatening situation. Burbank does not want that risk in any officer.

Performing on motorcycle as an officer occurs in all types of parades. I haven't seen a parade without them. It's not a statement of supporting a lifestyle. It's the officer's job. It is a statement, however, that you will protect and serve all citizens equally as an officer. Something Moutsos apparently hesitated to do because of a discriminatory belief.

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