Bil Browning

When there's nothing left to burn, you've got to set yourself on fire

Filed By Bil Browning | August 07, 2007 6:06 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, The Movement
Tags: court cases, firefighters, homophobic behavior, lawsuit, San Diego

fire_clipart_fireman_2.gifSan Diego firefighters are forcing LGBT residents to ask the uncomfortable question, "If my house catches on fire, will the rescue workers discriminate against me because of my sexuality or gender identity?" Strangely enough, this is all over a Pride parade...

The San Diego Fire Department has participated in the Pride parade for the last 15 years. After the normal crew that drove the truck in the parade had to back out, a crew from the city's gay ghetto was tapped to take their place. Now the crew is threatening a lawsuit for having to participate. Their attorney describes Pride as a “celebration of lewdness and obscenity in support of the homosexual agenda” and complains that the firemen saw “men hugging and kissing one another passionately.” So make sure you're sleeping in separate beds if you live in San Diego and your house catches on fire in the middle of the night...

The message sent to the gay citizens of the Hillcrest district is clear: your local firefighters, those who will be called upon to save your life and property, despise you and think you are lewd, debased, and obscene. They consider your quest for liberty and equality to be “an agenda” and they consider waving at you to be beneath them. They want nothing to do with the local inhabitants and consider it a compromise to what they hold true to drive a fire truck in your midst.

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Leland Frances | August 7, 2007 7:20 PM

"When there's nothing left to burn, you've got to set yourself on fire"

I suggest that as the slogan on T-shirts to be worn by those, whether national gay "leader" or homo polloi, who are pushing Democratic candidates over the cliff; who are so eager for a Pyrrhic victory in November 2008.

Like that? It's from a song by The Stars...

beergoggles | August 8, 2007 9:57 AM

I love the Box Turtle. He gives these issues such a nice framing.

Don Sherfick | August 9, 2007 4:00 PM

I notice that is having a field day with your post, asking how you would feel if forced to participate in thier rally at the Statehouse. And in that I think they have a point, much as I had to concede the anything at all. I think one thing that I would ask concerning the 15 years of S.D. Fire Department participation would be whether or not it and participation in other events which reflect a particular group of whatever stripe was vountary on the part of the firefighters. That, by the way, is a different question from requiring a police officer who finds the parade offensive to still patrol it in the interest of security or crowd control. the parade situation gets bound up in some First Amendment issues concerning participation in a particular message; the "come put out my fire even if I'm sleeping with my same-sex partner" circumstance you allude to has to do with performance of an official duty. My guess is, of course, that many city employees there and elsewhere routinely "get volunteered" for such participation, including some events with a strong religious affiliation they feel uncomfortable with, and that is wrong to do also.

Let's change the situation. Would these firefighters be upset if the people yelling at them were women? Do they not see male couples holding hands and occasionally kissing in their own neighborhood (the gay ghetto) where they are sworn to defend and protect? Why is that the REGULAR fire crew which participated never complained? Surely they had the same comments?

Look, Pride is like a gay version of NASCAR or any loud drunken Baseball crowd. Put enough alcohol and testosterone into a male crowd and you get crude and half naked. Is that appropriate, maybe not. Is it to be expected, yes.

And these poor tender-hearted fathers and sons, trust me I know professional firefighters as my Brother-in-Law is one, can't handle a few cat-calls from drunks? How will they ever respond to a 3-alarm blaze?

Wait, dosn't the crowd have free speech rights?