The case of the hurtful homosexuals v. SDFD ended yesterday in mistrial. The jury could not decide if four firefighters were victims of sexual harassment. The men were “forced” to march in a San Diego gay pride parade and also taunted during the march:
The firefighters claimed they were humiliated by taunts and sexual gestures from parade watchers in San Diego.
Their complaint said parade participants included “a group of radical homosexual men” dressed in nun habits and others who yelled comments such as, “You’re making me hot!” and, “I can’t breathe, give me mouth to mouth!”
“Radical homosexual men?” Obviously these firefighters have never been to Chelsea (or even Hell’s Kitchen).
At the time SDFD policy was to make participation in the parade mandatory under anti-discrimination laws. SDFD has since made participation voluntary.
San Diego’s city attorney was happy with the outcome of the case:
City Attorney Michael Aguirre said the lawsuit “was about greed” and declared the jury’s deadlock a total victory. … Aguirre told jurors that the men were assigned to the parade after another crew backed out due to a death in one member’s family. He said the parade is a city-sanctioned event, just like celebrations of the Fourth of July and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The firefighters’ attorney said that they would seek a new trial.
But let’s flip the gender and orientation for a second. Would it be sexual harassment for a group of guys to shout “you’re making me hot” at women marching in a parade? It seems like the same standard should apply to a sexual harassment charge in both cases, if at all.