State Supreme Court Rules Firefighters Must Participate in ‘Gay Pride Parades’ Despite Objections

Fire truck II pdPROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Supreme Court of Rhode Island has unanimously ruled that the religious rights of two firefighters were not violated when they were forced to participate in a “gay pride parade” a decade ago despite their objections.

Theodore Fabrizio and Stephen Deninno were assigned by city officials to drive a fire truck in the 2001 parade, but when the men asked if they could be reassigned as they do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, they were refused. The men then carried out their assignment against their will, but state that they experienced sexual harassment, including sexual propositions and “at least 60 profanity-laced anonymous phone calls,” from parade attendees and their co-workers both during and after the event.

They filed suit against then-Mayor Buddy Cianci and Fire Chief James Rattigan in 2004 after their complaints to the city remained unresolved. During the legal battle, Mayor Cianci asserted that the assignment was just like any other as the city regularly sends fire trucks to a variety of parades.

“Our policy was to send a fire truck to any parade that made the request, if one was available and the truck’s participation did not compromise public safety,” he contended. “Why should the gay-pride parade be any different than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Purim Parade, or any parade in Providence? It shouldn’t, and it wasn’t.”

But Fabrizio and Deninno asserted that their constitutional rights—namely their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech—had been violated by being forced to participate in an event that conflicted with their convictions.

The litigation dragged out over the past decade, and the battle eventually made it to the state supreme court, which was to rule on whether the two city officials had immunity from being sued.

But on Friday, the court threw out the firefighters’ lawsuit altogether, unanimously ruling that the city did not violate the men’s constitutional rights because the assignment was “legitimate.”

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“The [firefighters’] appearance in the parade, solely as members of the Providence Fire Department, did not constitute a form of expression on their part,” wrote Justice William Robinson on behalf of the five-judge panel. “Rather, it was simply the accomplishing of a task assigned to an engine company of the Providence Fire Department, and the individuals chosen to carry out that assignment cannot be said to have engaged in personal speech by carrying out their work as public servants.”

He opined that it was not necessary to reach the question of immunity since there was no constitutional infringement in the first place.

“[S]ince there was no deprivation of a constitutional right, our analysis rightly can come to an abrupt halt since ‘the need for [invocation of the doctrine of qualified immunity] no longer exists,'” Robinson stated.

He said that there was no case law that supported “the proposition that, in such specific circumstances, employees’ rights are violated if they happen to possess religious objections to the beliefs of the group with which an otherwise legitimate work assignment requires brief interaction.”

It is not known whether the Febrizio and Deninno will further appeal the case at this point.


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  • Neiman

    The modern courts, wrongly, have decided over and over again that Freedom of Religious Expression does not exist in the Bill of Rights and that Christians and only Christians, may be forced to compromise their faith or lose their jobs or their right to own and operate a business. Let us be clear – this ruling, like so many, has amended the Bill of Rights and removed freedom of religious expression therefrom. It no longer exists!

    For the city to force these Firefighters to participate in a public function that violated their faith, without there being a public safety issue involved, violated the First Amendment, The Rhode Island Supreme Court, from an extreme left Wing anti-Constitution state, has thus said Christians no longer have any freedom of religious expression.

    This was forced participation in the celebration of an anti-Christian, sexually perverse lifestyle, it was forcing Christians to set aside their deeply held faith because the city and the state are pro-homosexual and passionately anti-Christ. May God mightily bless these firefighters and bring down strong wrath on this court, this city and this state.

    • NATHAN AMAL

      no, dummy-youre forgetting the tax money thing…yes, gays pay their salaries

      • Neiman

        So, the 1st Amendment does not apply to Christians if their salaries are paid for by taxes? Where is that in the 1st Amendment?

      • James Grimes

        Here’s an indication of his (lack of) intelligence – he feels compelled to insult and call people names when he comments. Insignificant? Absolutely!

    • nathan

      Many think the buy / sell mandate will be totally forced. It will be a decision that folks have to make. Support evil like this or trust in Father.

      It will indeed be forced, but this is the start of it. No one should compromise faith and trust in Father for a paycheck. The firefighters had every right to say “NO I WILL NOT” and then take the consequences this life dishes out for standing against evil.

      • Neiman

        In a way you are quite, but the world is not a tidy place and I think we should look at this from two points of view:

        Spiritual: Yes, we must be willing to risk being persecuted and losing everything for standing on God’s Word. Yes, from a spiritual point of view they should have just refused to go at all.

        Natural: Even though they refused and there would be consequences, it does not mean that under the Constitution they could not or should not, on behalf of all Christians, take their case to the courts, civil and criminal, to seek justice under the law.

        It is always a challenge, in the natural man there is opposition to evil and it is set against our natural fears of losing our income, going to jail, etc.. Most Christians have not reached the level of spiritual maturity to trust in God in such circumstances. So, you are in a spiritual sense quite right and yet we need to understand the natural man is often, no matter how much they love Christ, afraid of such risks.

        • nathan

          Why would a Christian go to the den of satan and appeal to the demons that their rights are being violated?

          This world is NOT going to get better. We have been told that it will be so bad that If Messiah does not come when He does, no flesh would be saved.

          I understand there are many points of view and that is fine, everyone is entitled to their view. My view is why waste time and money on this when the end result is that Christ will still be mocked and thrown in the dirt, evil perversion will prevail and is just one more example of how satan is pushing ALL to hate Christ and His followers.

          If we as Christians understand that we are like Daniel living in Babylon, we will understand that we can only worry about our daily walk with Messiah and will NOT change the babylonian system around us.

          • Neiman

            I can tell by your use of the word Messiah, your references to the Old Testament and a legalistic approach that you are probably a 7th Day Adventist or some other grace denying denomination.

            I agree with much of what you say, but you refuse to look upon the matter outside your own legal mindset and see that (a) There is nothing wrong with Christians standing on their rights. (b) Christians are only perfect positionally before God, they still live in this world and still struggle with their human nature. (c) That by pressing our rights in court, as did Paul, we like him, can find opportunities to witness to the world about our faith and thereby some souls might decide to seek Christ.

          • chip

            Right on !!

          • chip

            They could have called in sick, but I agree they should not have taken place in the parade…those Gay pride deals everything in those parades points to support of a lifestyle God said do not do ! You shall not lie with another man as you would with a woman it is abomination……How do you get happy, and parade knowing down the road youle answer for that choice…Nonchristians have the wrath of God abiding upon them…Repent !! of this evil and live for Him who died for you that you may have life and have it more abundantly…

          • nathan

            I do not deny grace. Grace is THE ONLY WAY TO salvation. As far as using those words…Christ is the english translation of Annointed One which is the Hebrew Messiah.

            I am totally capable of speaking the sounds that make up the Hebrew name of Jesus (Yeshuah which is the Hebrew word for Salvation). I don’t submit that the name Jesus is wrong or somehow inferior, it is just I prefer to speak the true name since I am capable of it.

            Paul did NOT take someone to court for wronging him. He appealed to the courts when he was brought before them. There is NOT 1 Biblical instance of a Christian appealing to the courts for their faith being persecuted.

            If you think desiring to be obedient to Father is legalism, then Messiah Jesus, Paul, the apostles, Abraham, Noah etc, etc… were all legalists.

            I can tell by your response that you are one who uses Paul to justify Lawlessness, which Paul NEVER DID. The law he was referring to in most of his writings was NOT God’s law, it was the oral talmud and jewish traditions that Messiah Jesus railed against and had problems with. God’s law is eternal, perfect, holy, just, unchangeable and more.

            Even Paul promoted the keeping of God’s commandments.

            1 Cor 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

            Messiah Jesus said (john 14:15) “If you love me, keep my commandments”

            Those commandments are NOT different than the Father’s commandments considering God and Jesus are indeed the same entity in different manifestations. Jesus said “Before Abraham was I AM”. Then go back to Exodus 3

            14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

            Jesus is God is proven also in Isaiah 9 and many other verses throughout Scripture. In the OT, every time you see the word Salvation, that literally is the Hebrew word yĕshuw`ah.

            1 John 5 tells us HOW we are to “Love God & Love our neighbor”…

            2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
            3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
            4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
            5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

            I could go on and on to prove with scripture that those who use Paul’s writings to promote lawlessness are from their father the devil. But it likely won’t matter to you.

            Faith is obtained ONLY through faith in Jesus. But once we have faith in Jesus, that faith will be evidenced in our lives through actions, words and thoughts. One who says they believe and then celebrates pagan holidays (xmas, easter), goes out partying and looks, sounds and smells like the rest of the world ARE LIARS AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN THEM.

            1 John 2
            3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
            4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

            So, no I don’t deny grace. I magnify it and have GONE THROUGH THE DOOR. Most come to the door (Jesus) and they sit outside and say how beautiful and wonderful it is. They never actually go through the door because it requires change within our thoughts, words and actions.

            The church wants to preach on the Love of Messiah, and I don’t disagree, but once we understand that milky truth (meaning for babes), we are to graduate to the meat which is HOW DO WE LOVE MESSIAH BACK.

            If a Christian understands our world, they will not be shocked and surprised of the persecutions. In the coming days many of the Isaiah 4:1 / Revelation 3:16-17 Christians will be sifted and found not worthy. The persecutions they will face will be greater than their faith.

            So, just so I am clear…. SALVATION IS FOUND ONLY IN MESSIAH JESUS, HIS GRACE IS THE ONLY THING THAT ALLOWS FOR ETERNAL LIFE. BUT, THE WORD IS CLEAR THAT THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, WILL OBEY HIM AND WALK AS HE WALKED. THOSE THAT DON’T WALK AS HE WALKED ARE LIARS AND NOT WORTHY OF MESSIAH (Matt 10:37-39)

          • Neiman

            If, using words like Messiah or Yeshuah makes you feel somehow better about yourself, more righteous or spiritually superior to others, or in some other ways make you feel more religious than other Christians, you are free to employ them. However, I suspect that it is produced by the rather unattractive legalistic spirit within you.

            You engage in such silly arguments and routinely engage in false accusations and/or false arguments solely for the sake of argument. I never said that Paul took anyone to court, I only pointed out that when he did appear before the courts and when he appealed to Caesar’s court, he was able to use those opportunities to testify about the gospel of salvation in Christ. Further, while Paul admonishes Christians not to take each other to court, encouraging Christians to judge such matters between themselves, there is no prohibition in the New Testament against taking people to court to resolve a matter of law. Yet, I understand that because of your legalistic spirit, you would like to create a prohibition where none exists, so that you might lord it over other people.

            Another one of your asinine charges against me and against the doctrine of grace, is that believing in Grace justifies lawlessness. There are just too many passages and I have given you several, that make it clear Christians are not under the law, they are under grace, the law is no longer master over them. They have died with Christ and dead people are no longer under the law, they are free from the law, they and they alone only enjoy true liberty in Christ. Where you and so many Christians that want desperately to prove you are better than other men and crawl back under the law – fail, is that by trying to live under the law, God demands that we obey it perfectly, where even the slightest, most minute failure only brings condemnation and death. When you are under the law you are no longer under grace and you will be judged by the law, your salvation will depend upon absolute perfect obedience to the law and that means exactly as the law was originally given to Moses. As an example, if you are going to claim that Christians must keep the Jewish Sabbath, if you do any work at all on that day you are breaking the law, are a law breaker and are condemned. The only way to make amends, is that you must make the required animal sacrifices. Since, there is no temple and no animal sacrifices any longer, you are left in your sins and condemned. You cannot suddenly step out of the law and into grace and then back under the law whenever it suits you.

            Next, you must separate the commandments under the old testament, under the law of Moses, from the commandments of Christ. Which commandments are all based solely on the premise of loving one another. If one acts in God’s love towards his brother or sister in Christ or towards those of the world, a person that loves would not steal, or murder or commit adultery, etc. So, acting in love is the fulfillment of the law of Christ. Yet, even in this, if we seek to do it by the power of the flesh, that is, by our self will, it will be corrupted by that flesh which has already been condemned and we will not be truly acting in the love of God. If we are born again of his spirit, if the spirit of Christ is living with in us and if we have put to death by the renewing of our minds the old nature, having surrendered to the spirit of Christ within us, He will in us produce the good works of the love of Christ in our lives and since He cannot sin, we will not be committing sins of the flesh. Thereby, we will witness in our lives the perfect obedience to the laws of Christ, in harmony with the holy nature of Christ, but not by our self will, rather by the new nature within us.

            So, we can rightly claim that we are saved by grace alone and further, that we are walking in good works and free from all sin – by that very same grace. Thus our salvation and our lives in this world will all be by His grace and He will rightly receive all the glory and all the honor and we, all the benefits. Wherein he tells us that He, not us, works all things together in our lives for our good and his glory that he may be all in all. From first to last the Christian life is a gift of his grace, not of any works of our flesh.

            Lastly when we sense that we are trying, even struggling to obey God, to be good and to refrain from evil, we can be sure that it is our flesh involved and therein can be no good thing. When we cease trying and struggling and surrender to the Spirit of Christ within us, we will find good works of the Holy Spirit being produced in our lives and an absence of sin, and it is all by His grace, there is no glorying in our flesh, no bragging that we obey God better than the next fellow or that because of our hard work we are pleasing God. I cannot say it any more strongly that when we struggle and fail, grace abounds all the more, we must seek peace and joy in the Christian life, by living only by his grace within.

            The Law Kills – the Law only brings death. While the Spirit of God’s Grace always produces life. But, if you choose to keep trying to keep the law, to be under bondage to the Law, that is your choice, what I object to is your church trying to tie those chains of bondage and death to other believers by your legalism which only frustrates God’s Grace.

          • nathan

            hahahaha .. what church do I have? I celebrate Sabbath with my family at home because the churches around me are apostate and teach lies.

            Go ahead and use Paul to justify Lawlessness like is so popular today.

            How do we Love each other? How do we Love Father?

            1 John 5
            2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
            3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
            4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

            So you think God’s law is bondage?? Wow, the Bible describes it the same as it describes Father.

            Good
            God-Luke 19:19 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Holy
            God-Isaiah 5:16 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Just
            God-Deut 32:4 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Perfect
            God-Matthew 5:48 ; Law-Psalm 19:7

            Love
            God-1 John 4:8 ; Law-Romans 13:10

            Righteous
            God-Exodus 9:27 ; Law-Psalm 19:9

            Truth
            God-Deut 32:4 ; Law-Psalm 119:142,151

            Pure
            God-1 John 3:3 ; Law-Psalm 19:8

            Spiritual
            God-John 4:24 ; Law-Romans 7:14

            Immutable
            God-Mal 3:6 ; Matthew 5:18

            Eternal
            God-Gen 21:33 ; Law-Psalm 111:7-8

            Notice several of those come from Paul. You’re like the rest of the lawless teachers. Using Paul OUT OF CONTEXT without understanding what law he was talking about.

            God’s 10 commandments were not given to Jews, so you show your ignorance of the Word of God there as it was given to ISRAEL. Judah was just 1 tribe of the 12 who received the commandments on stone.

            Romans 9
            4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
            5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
            6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
            7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
            8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

            Did Paul, Peter, John, Andrew and Jesus’ legalism frustrate God’s grace? Because they all kept the laws and obeyed JUST AS FATHER HAS COMMANDED US TO DO.

            Sin is transgression of THE LAW. No law = no sin = no need for a saviour. If we say there is no sin and no law, we then deny that we need Messiah to save us from something we say does not exist.

          • Neiman

            Everyone here knows you are a Seventh Day Adventist, at least by doctrine.

            Salvation and Christian living, first to last are by grace alone; if you want to live under bondage to the law and by your life deny grace – go ahead, no one is stopping you.

          • nathan

            No I am a believer and follower of the Bible. Do the SDA have some good truths, yes, do I think they are any different than today’s apostate churches… no…. do I read Ellen White as though it is scripture … no

            So go ahead and put whatever label on the truth you desire.

            Why do folks like you see God’s Law as bondage? That shows you have no idea what the Bible says outside of twisting Paul’s writings.

            How can something be bondage when it is described the same way Father is described?

            Good
            God-Luke 19:19 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Holy
            God-Isaiah 5:16 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Just
            God-Deut 32:4 ; Law-Romans 7:12

            Perfect
            God-Matthew 5:48 ; Law-Psalm 19:7

            Love
            God-1 John 4:8 ; Law-Romans 13:10

            Righteous
            God-Exodus 9:27 ; Law-Psalm 19:9

            Truth
            God-Deut 32:4 ; Law-Psalm 119:142,151

            Pure
            God-1 John 3:3 ; Law-Psalm 19:8

            Spiritual
            God-John 4:24 ; Law-Romans 7:14

            Immutable
            God-Mal 3:6 ; Matthew 5:18

            Eternal
            God-Gen 21:33 ; Law-Psalm 111:7-8

            So, if something Good, Holy, Just, Perfect, Love, Pure, Truth, Spiritual and Immutable is considered bondage to you, then SIGN ME UP. Those things sound wonderful and amazing.

            Bondage is what we are to sin, Messiah’s grace free’s us from the bondage of sin. It does not remove the law as Messiah said Himself that He did not come to destroy the Law and prophets.

          • Neiman

            As I said, you have free will and can abide in death is you choose.

            “…9I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me . . .” Romans 7

            “…14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15for the Law brings about wrathbut where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16For
            this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with
            grace
            so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants,
            not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the
            faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Romans 4

            Read Galatians over and over and you will learn that if you try and live by the law you will abide in death. You will be condemned by the Law and suffer God’s wrath.

            Yes, the Law was/is good because it showed the world the utter futility of trying to gain righteousness, right standing before God by any self effort; and, so God brought salvation and righteousness by grace alone – not by any works of the law or of human will We are saved by grace and must live by grace or we abide in death.

            I will not change your mind, you have rejected Grace, you have rejected righteousness that only comes by faith and is a gift of God’s Grace. So, let us end this – I have salvation by grace and depend only on grace for Christian living; you have rejected grace and choose to earn your salvation and live for God by working hard and being good and obeying the law and are dead to Christ, you have turned your back on Grace. Good luck with that!

  • James Grimes

    The Liberal agenda in a bad case scenario… Decent people required to participate in a despicable and sinful event.

    • NATHAN AMAL

      imbecile-if they were against blacks because they have no souls (the curse of ham) youd be cool with that ? or you just hate gays, you backwards, trailer trash redneck?

      • Gary

        Lots of intelligent, well-educated people oppose homosexuality.

      • Neiman

        Race and homosexual conduct are not the same thing. The former is an immutable characteristic, the latter is a perverse sexual lifestyle choice.

        • James Grimes

          And Nathan is as perverted and meaningless as they come. How much more pathetic can he be?

        • Taussig

          opinions vary

    • Spoob

      “Our policy was to send a fire truck to any parade that made the request, if one was available and the truck’s participation did not compromise public safety,” he contended. “Why should the gay-pride parade be any different than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Purim Parade, or any parade in Providence? It shouldn’t, and it wasn’t.”

      And that is very true, and all that matters. Are the bigots here suggesting that the lives of gay pride people are not worth saving? Is this what you want when you say your religious freedom is being infringed – to watch gay people die, that’s good and preferable to you?

      I cannot BELIEVE the hate and insensitivity of people calling themselves CHRISTIANS!

      • Chasity Portis

        They didn’t refuse to rescue gays from a fire, he refuse to support their lifestyle. Your point is stupid!

        • James Grimes

          Unfortunately, all his comments on this forum are as idiotic and as meaningless as this one is. He likes to troll for arguments.

          • Spoob

            I don’t troll for arguments, dum dum, I speak up against hateful bigots, and you are among the very worst.

        • Spoob

          No one SAID they had to “support their lifestyle”! How are they being forced to support a gay lifestyle???

          • Neiman

            Just being in a gay pride parade is forced participation in a lifestyle that God condemns. It is unconstitutional.

          • Spoob

            That is RIDICULOUS. They are there are firemen, not as spokespeople for the “gay movement”!

          • Neiman

            More of your lies, I never said they were spokespeople for “the gay movement.” But, to participate implies support for their lifestyle.

          • Spoob

            No it DOESN’T, they are there working jobs as first responders, no one would POSSIBLY think they had anything to do with being homosexuals!

          • Neiman

            More lies, I never said nor implied they had anything to do with being homosexuals. I said their participation, when not required to fulfill their duties, implies agreement with their lifestyle, being there not on duty, but as participants in the parade.

          • Spoob

            What do you propose, that they stay home? Go and fight fires for the nice straight folks instead? Do you think when a bouncer gets hired for an event, he has to agree with the lifestyles of everyone he’s surrounded by? What the hell is wrong with you?

          • Neiman

            I know this is difficult for you and I while I try to keep it simple and at your level, your insane responses make it apparent you have difficulty with reality, facts and honesty.

            They normally stay at the firehouse until called on an emergency, that is what they do for every citizen, straight or gay, not stay home. They were not doing what they were trained to do riding in a parade, it was outside their job description. The event not being their job, they were not performing their duties, they had a right to say no to participating in an event that violated their faith.

          • Spoob

            Oh give it a rest already, YOU are the one saying insane things AND YOU KNOW IT. If firefighters are dispatched for ANY reason, they GO. They don’t ask if the people they’ve been sent to assist are homosexuals. If I was a firefighter and was told I had to go serve for a convention of Christian radicals I would go without a single complaint, these guys have NO leg to stand on. If it’s a violation of their faith, they need a new faith because the one they are following is STUPID.

          • Neiman

            I feel sad to think of you facing God – it is going to be horrific and your conscious torments will last forever. I pray for you that you will wake up before it is too late.

          • Spoob

            Oh, don’t worry about me – you’ll have plenty to answer for.

          • Neiman

            How old are you, 12?

          • Spoob

            Never mind me. Worry about yourself. You have LOTS to be worried about.

          • James Grimes

            Immaturity has no age limits. Thank you for standing strong. Happy New Yea,r Brother.

          • Paula Coyle

            I have plenty to answer for. But Jesus already answered for it. He offers to pay your debt as well. But you must admit you have a debt to pay.

          • colt721

            so what you have JUST declared is that their lifestyle choice is inferior to yours? So you are somehow better than them because of your lifestyle choice. And before you deny it You just said “They need a new faith because theirs is stupid”. Their faith IS their lifestyle choice. Now that we have pointed out your hypocrisy, They were NOT dispatched they were assigned. To dispatch an emergency crew whether police, fire or EMS is to send them to respond to an emergency.
            The point here is that they were being told to do something that conflicted with their beliefs and they felt harmed by it. If the shoe had been on the other foot, as it were and Gay firefighters were told to participate in a Christian parade they could have sued and Precedence shows us that GAY firefighters would have won the suit.

          • Spoob

            Don’t be daft, OK? If you’re a firefighter you go where you’re told and you don’t get to be all high and mighty about the so-called “morals” of the people you’ve been called to defend. Gay firefighters wouldn’t even have QUESTIONED who they were called to support. They would have simply gone, no questions asked. As it should be.

          • Kimmers

            Spoob, First, you’re not getting your point across by ranting. Calm down. I have gay friends and do not care or judge what others do in their bedroom. With that being said, they are right. Parades are NOT in their job description. Firefighters are at their assigned house until they are called to an actual emergency. To say they should go wherever they are called is ridiculous. If they are dispatched to go to Target and shop for the Mayor, should they go? If they are dispatched to clean the community pool, should they go? I am being a bit “ridiculous” with my examples, but I am trying to make a point. It is NOT a part of their job description and they therefore should not have to participate. To take it even further, I think that dispatching them to rescue a cat from a tree is ridiculous too! Our business has been in several parades. It’s a choice to “ADVERTISE” in a parade. It costs money. If these people were injured then a truck would be dispatched where I am certain the gentlemen in question would do everything to save their lives.

          • Spoob

            Let me ask you this: Were the firefighters in question being asked to dress in stereotypical gay attire? Were they asked to wear slogans? Were they asked to carry signs? Was there anything that fell outside of any other assignment of this type?

            If not, then what is the issue? You’re a firefighter who doesn’t like gay people. That is YOUR issue to deal with, in terms of the job you are being asked to do it is completely and utterly irrelevant. They would not BE asked to go to Target to shop for the Mayor. Their presence as first responders in case they are needed is the issue here, and there is absolutely no place for faith-based discrimination here. None.

          • Paula Coyle

            “They would not BE asked to go to Target to shop for the Mayor. ”

            It used to be “they would not BE asked to violate their consciences.” but now since you’ve demonstrated it is ok to make them do whatever the employer says outside of an appropriate job description for a fire fighter, who knows. They might BE asked to go to Target and shop for the Mayor. If they didn’t, they’d be hating on the mayor, and get fired. And hey heaven forbid if the mayor is gay. They would never get a job anywhere again!

          • Spoob

            Utterly ridiculous. If they are firerighters, they will be dispatched to all manner of gatherings and parades. They don’t get to pick and choose.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “Parades are NOT in their job description. ”

            So you have a copy of the job description for fire department personnel and you therefore know for certain that nothing is mentioned about participating in public events, such as parades, is that correct?

          • Paula Coyle

            Thoughts from FLORIDA apparently has a copy of the Rhode Island fire department job description… hmmm

            The point being made is that it would be ludicrous to have such a job description that required employees to unconstitutionally participate in NON WORK RELATED activities that go against their religion. When we say their job description doesn’t contain that kind of activity, we are actually giving this particular Fire Department the benefit of the doubt that they would not have been so dumb as to say once you are employed here, you cannot say no to anything we ask you to do outside of fighting fires and maintaining the station/equipment.

            Y’all would love to be employed by someone like that wouldn’t you? You’d never object, right, if an employer made you participate in a conservative Christian political rally.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “Thoughts from FLORIDA apparently has a copy of the Rhode Island fire department job description… hmmm”

            No, I do not. What I do have, however, is a statement from the mayor that: “Our policy was to send a fire truck to any parade that made the request, if one was available and the truck’s participation did not compromise public safety,”

            “The point being made is that it would be ludicrous to have such a job description that required employees to unconstitutionally participate in NON WORK RELATED activities that go against their religion.”

            Please point to the part of the constitution which says that employees are not required to perform a job function based upon the job function being against their religious beliefs. Since sending firetrucks to parades when requested was part of what the fire department did, doing so was not “NON WORK RELATED”.

            “When we say their job description doesn’t contain that kind of activity, we are actually giving this particular Fire Department the benefit of the doubt that they would not have been so dumb as to say once you are employed here, you cannot say no to anything we ask you to do outside of fighting fires and maintaining the station/equipment.”

            Nor was any suggestion made that employees “cannot say no to ANYTHING we ask you to do outside of fighting fires and maintaining the station/equipment”.

            “You’d never object, right, if an employer made you participate in a conservative Christian political rally.”

            You mean, for example, something like St. Patrick’s day parades or Mardi Gras parades that celebrates Catholicism? No, I wouldn’t mind at all. I wonder if non-Catholic Christians who participate in those parades do, if so, complain about it.

          • Paula Coyle

            Again, maybe you should read the article. They weren’t there defending the lives of gay parade goers or as first responders. They were there as parade participants. Driving a truck, in a parade, they would be the last ones to get to any emergency. But then, you are clueless about how the real world works, apparently.

          • Spoob

            Again, maybe you should read what the supreme court said about this. Why on earth do you think someone would be allowed to force people to take part in a gay pride parade? Obviously they wouldn’t, and that is NOT what happened here. Firefighters are called on for parades of ALL types. And if it was a parade of florists, it wouldn’t mean the firefighters were pro-florist either.

          • KenS

            You are the one being daft. You know very good and well, that a gay firefighter would be just as opposed to attending a Christian parade. There is no protection issue here. If there was a fire they were being dispatched to, these guys would have no problem responding to the fire. You are comparing apples to oranges.

          • Spoob

            Why would a gay firefighter be opposed to patrolling a Christian parade? And why would I know this “well and good”? If you’re a firefighter, you go where they send you. Period. You don’t get to pick and choose depending on what you deem to be more “moral” than others.

            Why do you think firefighters are routinely dispatched to parades? What do you think makes this parade different than the others that the firefighters would be mistaken as parade-goers?

          • Paula Coyle

            ” YOU are the one saying insane things AND YOU KNOW IT.”
            You are the one fighting against your consience. And you know it.

          • Spoob

            No, I am not fighting against my “consience”, my conscience is just fine. How is yours by the way, since you’re trying to deny basic human safety to people based on their sexuality?

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “it was outside their job description. ”

            Really? So you have a copy of the job description for the Providence RI fire department personnel? You’re certain it makes no mention of personnel being involved in any type of civic activities like parades and/or others events?

            “They normally stay at the firehouse until called on an emergency, that is what they do for every citizen, straight or gay, not stay home.”

            From the article: “Our policy was to send a fire truck to any parade that made the request, if one was available and the truck’s participation did not compromise public safety,”

            Cleary they also “normally’ participate in parades.

            “they had a right to say no to participating in an event that violated their faith.”

            Please point to where people have a “right” to not perform a function of their job.

          • Neiman

            A. I was talking about the general job description a fireman, which involves fighting fires, maintaining the equipment, EMS duties and the like, not this specific department.
            B. I don’t care what that particular department’s policy was about attending parades, they cannot force a fireman to participate in non-fire fighting events that contradict their faith. For instance they could not force them to participate in satanic rituals.
            C. The 1st Amendment says they cannot force a person of faith to do anything that violates their faith.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “A. I was talking about the general job description a fireman, which involves fighting fires, maintaining the equipment, EMS duties and the like, not this specific department.”

            So then you don’t know that the job description does not include that fire department personnel will participate in public events, do you?

            “B. I don’t care what that particular department’s policy was about attending parades, they cannot force a fireman to participate in non-fire fighting events that contradict their faith.”

            Obviously, they can.

            “For instance they could not force them to participate in satanic rituals.”

            Agreed, but apples and oranges to driving a truck in a parade.

            “C. The 1st Amendment says they cannot force a person of faith to do anything that violates their faith.”

            Where does it say that?

          • Neiman

            A. I am saying that they may not as part of the job description include forcing people of religious faith to do anything that would violate that faith. If it did it was unconstitutional.

            B. Obviously if they did, they violated the Constitution,

            C. Freedom of expression.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “A. I am saying that they may not as part of the job description include forcing people of religious faith to do anything that would violate that faith. If it did it was unconstitutional.”

            You are incorrect both on job requirements as well as the constitutionality of job requirements.

            “B. Obviously if they did, they violated the Constitution,”

            The courts disagree with you. It is certainly possible, although extraordinarily unlikely, that you more accurate in your interpretation of the constitution than the various judiciary of the United States.

            “C. Freedom of expression.”

            Please show me where that phrase appears in the constitution.

            It appears that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the protections of the first amendment. Perhaps if you better understood it, you would realize that your views regarding the constitutionality of job requirements are incorrect.

            The first amendment provides a protection that the government will not make any law which prohibits the expression of religious beliefs. That does NOT mean that citizens are free to express their religious belief in any way, at any time, or in any location they choose.

            In this instance, the government has passed no law prohibiting expression of religion. Therefore, there is no violation of the 1st amendment. Employers are allowed to set out criteria for employment. There is no right of an employee to refuse work assignments based upon the religious beliefs of the employee. If the person does not want to fulfill the obligations of employment, the person is free not to accept the job.

            But there is no “I don’t want to do that part of my job because of my religious beliefs and you can’t tell me I have to” protection in the 1st amendment.

          • KenS

            you conveniently left out the free exercise part of the 1st amendment in your comment here. So, if in order to freely exercise their religion, they need to be able to not attend a gay pride parade, then it is unconstitutional to force them to attend it.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            I didn’t leave it out for convenience, I left it out because it is not applicable. Apparently you are unaware that, regarding religious exercise, the only guarantee provided by the first amendment is that Congress (and via the 14th amendment, the states) will not PASS A LAW PROHIBITING the expression of religion. There was no law passed in this instance. There is no “right” to refuse to perform a work duty based upon religious belief.

            You would benefit from a better understanding of both the first amendment and case law regarding its application to employment.

          • Paula Coyle

            “Obviously, they can.”
            Because it happens to agree with you, very convenient.
            Um, everywhere I have worked, those community participation in activities where the company wants to be supportive are completely voluntary.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “Because it happens to agree with you, very convenient.”

            No, not because I happen to agree with it. Because that is the ruling on the case.

            “Um, everywhere I have worked, those community participation in activities where the company wants to be supportive are completely voluntary.”

            That’s nice. Have you been an employee of the fire department in Providence? Apparently not.

          • Paula Coyle

            “they cannot force a fireman to participate in non-fire fighting events that contradict their faith.”

            I can’t wait till the first Muslim fireman refuses to participate in a Purim parade. Everyone will capitulate and we’ll hear crickets from the gay lobby.

          • Fundisi

            Muslims should not be required to violate their faith by forcing them to attend events that are not part of their fire fightng duties.

          • Paula Coyle

            “Really? So you have a copy of the job description for the Providence RI fire department personnel? ”
            Do you?

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            No, I do not. What I have is a quote from the mayor indicating what their policy is.

          • Paula Coyle

            They weren’t there fighting fires. No one said anything about that except you. What the hell is wrong with you?

          • Spoob

            Their presence is requested in case of an emergency. That’s their job and what they do. They might also be wanted in case some bigot decides it might be fun to punch out a few gay people or set fire to one of their floats.

          • Spoob

            And WHAT, pray tell, is this “lifestyle” you are so opposed to? Why is it that YOU have a life, but for them it’s a “lifestyle”? Don’t you think they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do?

          • Paula Coyle

            the lifestyle is one that flaunts and celebrates their sexuality in a parade. I don’t see heterosexuals doing that. It is a lifestyle. I have a lifestyle too. I know there are homosexuals who disagree with this approach, and I don’t have a problem with them (although I still believe their behavior to be wrong, just like many things *I* do, and try not to do, are wrong, and many heterosexual behaviors and attitudes are wrong both outside and inside marriage). The only reason you folks think we are zeroing in on ‘homosexuality’ is because you are forcing it on everyone. We have plenty of other things that we believe are wrong. It used to be divorce, cohabitation etc. Those things are still wrong, and still doing damage, even if the battle is mostly lost on those issues in society.

          • Spoob

            I’m not homosexual, and I don’t see a “lifestyle” being forced on anyone. Also, it isn’t all homosexuals who wish to have a parade to celebrate who they are, just certain ones. If you don’t like it you don’t have to attend. Unless, of course, your JOB tells you that you have to go, which would be the case for people like police and firefighters. When you use the word “wrong” it is entirely your opinion, not something that can or should be enforced on those of us who disagree with you.

          • Spoob

            And why do you think ANYONE would think “agreement” was “implied” when it’s the FIRE DEPARTMENT?

          • Neiman

            They were “part of the parade,” not just being close by for emergencies and being “in” the parade, it implies support and/or agreement with the lifestyles of the theme of the parade.

          • Spoob

            Too bad. There are gay people in the world, you serve them as well as the straights. If you have a problem with that, get another job.

          • Neiman

            Okay, I am tired of your childish and insane rants, it is getting late. I have tried to be patient with all your nonsensical ravings, but it is a waste of my precious time. You need professional help to help you deal with your problems with reality and honesty.

          • Spoob

            I am not the one HATING other human beings because of something they have absolutely no control over, and demanding they do something impossible to make a few fundies happy.

          • Paula Coyle

            “I am not the one HATING other human beings because of something they have absolutely no control over,”
            Believe it or not, telling someone they are wrong does not equal hate. Because if it did, then you’re just as guilty as anyone.

          • James Grimes

            It is so easy to be a hater, but not admitting to it, it is passed on to another group. It is so easy to be irresponsible in commenting here, as most of it is anonymous. In any event, all your points are valid, whether your intended audience will agree with them or not. Smokescreens are easy.

          • Spoob

            You are the king of the haters. Every thing that you type is so completely antithetical to Christianity that I am seriously wondering if YOU are a troll.

          • Paula Coyle

            How would you have any idea what Christianity is about? You seem to think he’s not a good Christian, but then Christianity is all about hate. Except when you think it’s not. What the heck?

          • James Grimes

            This clown is such a nuisance. He posts his dribble and wants to be taken seriously. Do you laugh at him as much as I do? Anyway, there are points to this story that need to be addressed. Again, I do appreciate your unwavering stance against these nuisances. Have a blessed day.

          • Levi

            You are disgusting! First of all, I agree that being gay is wrong, but it’s just as wrong as all other sins so we shouldn’t be specifically targeting them as evil! You are making fun of a person who has an opinion, just like you have an opinion. You agree with the statement of being able to have free speech, but are disacknowledging someone else’s freedom.

          • James Grimes

            I’m not interested.

          • Paula Coyle

            “it’s just as wrong as all other sins” Yes, in a sense you are right. All sins, even the ‘respectable ones’ condemn us before God. But not all sins are equally destructive to ourselves and to those around us. In addition, if one particular sin is gaining attention because they want to redefine it as ‘not sin’ then sure, it’s going to look like we are focusing on that one sin to the exclusion of all the others. But the truth is, it is those who want to minimize that particular sin who are the ones doing the focusing. I still believe divorce and wife beating and adultery and racism is wrong too. I just don’t see much of a lobby for those things trying to gain acceptance, having “adultery parades.” I think the hedonistic behavior at Mardi Gras is disgusting too. And the rioting that goes along sometimes with sports events. Which one would you like to discuss? Any one of those would be off topic, which is why we are focused on homosexuality here since that is what the article happens to be about and where the truth is most frequently being attacked. We didn’t pick the issue. They did.

          • Paula Coyle

            “Do you laugh at him as much as I do?”

            No, I just feel sad.

          • James Grimes

            He’s a nuisance that has nothing positive to say. Rather than being nasty, it’s best to laugh. Have a great day.

          • pax2u

            best of luck to you, you will meet the only two true “christians” here

            they are happy to condemn everyone else to hell, what hypocrites, one uses a Bible and the other the American Flag as their avatar

            do not ask them their “christian” denomination, they have none, they believe that all of the 30 thousand plus denominations are false, and only these two are true and pure as they slap each other on the back when they condemn all others to eternal hell

          • Spoob

            I have to wonder who the Jesus they believe in is. The one I learned about taught kindness and compassion, ate with lepers, was friendly with prostitutes, etc.

          • Gary

            Did you know the Jesus in the Bible endorsed the death penalty for those engaging in homosexuality as required in Leviticus? How do you like him now?

          • Spoob

            I would say you were lying, since Jesus said not one single word about homosexuality ANYWHERE in the Bible. I like him just fine.

          • Paula Coyle

            He also didn’t say anything against the stoning of homosexuals. Only women caught in adultery. (he actually didn’t say anything against that but did condemn the unrighteous judgement of the pharisees and teachers of the law).
            Jesus will come back to judge between the sheep and the goats, and the goats are not just going to be homosexuals and other blatant sinners who didn’t care what God said except when they agreed with it, but very upright and moral people who thought they could earn God’s favor by their “good” behavior. God requires perfection. He doesn’t grade on a curve. We all stand condemned. That is why he sent Jesus, the perfect one, to be the substitute and pay the penalty we deserve.

          • pax2u

            not the Jesus of Love and Mercy,

            they see a heaven that is very, very small with just enough room for them

          • Paula Coyle

            The one you learned about did that, but he is also coming again as judge. He was also very righteously angry at times and told prostitutes to go and sin no more. (she was already broken about her sin and not making excuses for it. And no one *here* is calling for the stoning of gays. Although I have seen it on other sites like FreedomOutpost with Tim Brown and Philip Stallings, which disgusts me because I know what kind of a lecherous womanizing creep Stallings is.)

            When Jesus came the first time, he came to pay the price for all our sexual sins, our blasphemies, our coldness toward our neighbors, our selfishness and lies, and every other sin we aren’t even aware we do from day to day. If you believe in his righteous substitution for your just punishment, as I do, then his righteousness is credited to your account and you are free. But if you receive his mercy for your sin, it will change you and cause you to love him and want to depart from sin (which you will try to do with varying degrees of success and failure, all designed to continually focus you back on him who won the victory for you, and not on yourself. Focusing on self is death. Focusing on him is life.)

          • Paula Coyle

            Well, sadly, there is a lot of division in the church, true. And no, Christians don’t as a whole think like you have characterized here. I have run into some. But if we’re going to have tolerance why not tolerate them too even if they’re wrong? Is the answer to hatred to hate back? I would agree, Christians get impatient and resort to angry words too easily. We are sinners too, God help us.

          • pax2u

            I appreciate you comment
            I have only characterized a very very small subset who call themselves Christians,
            The vast majority of Christians are loving and caring and spread the Gospel of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
            this very small subset have taken it upon themselves to decide what is in the hearts of others and declare others as not being Christians,
            I am a Catholic, and here I am constantly told I am not a Christian, that I worship Mary, which is wrong, that I worship the Pope, which is wrong, that the Catholic Chruch teaches a false gospel, that the Pope is the anti Christ, that the Pope is the false prophet.
            The postive thing is that this very, very small group who call themselves Christians and have these views, almost always never belong to any know denomination which they are not ashamed to acknowledge, and their theology is hating the Catholic Church

          • Paula Coyle

            They weren’t serving them. They were participating in a parade. They do serve them according to a proper job description for a fire fighter. If they refused to respond to an emergency call involving a gay victim, I would agree with you. But you seem to have a problem with category errors.

          • Spoob

            First of all, you cannot force someone to participate in something. You CAN, however, force them to attend something in the course of their duties, which is VERY OBVIOUSLY what is going on here. You’re going to have to work VERY hard to convince me or the supreme court that you’re telling two firefighters that they must take part in a participatory sense in a gay pride parade. That IS what you’re trying to say and you MUST have some idea of how absurd it sounds.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            Well since these two gentleman have made it known that they don’t support homosexuality, it would be without sense for someone to view their presence as implying anything other than their being employed by the fire department.

          • Nelson Theodore Blaskie

            They were not there as first responders if they were they would have been on the sidelines in a strategic location in they event their expertees were required.

            You need to read the article again. The firefighters were automatically considered to be gay by parade goers. They were hit on several times.

            Your acting ignorant on purpose.

          • Spoob

            Your premise is so ridiculous and off-base I don’t even know where to start. First of all just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they are going to be “hit on” – not all gay people are promiscuous as you are suggesting, just as not all straight people are. Secondly just because people are there in an official capacity, and probably because OF it, no one’s going to assume they are homosexual. Firefighters are routinely dispatched to parades. Thirdly, it’s extremely questionable these men are telling they truth when they talk about being “hit on” – and there’s no way to prove it.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “You need to read the article again. The firefighters were automatically considered to be gay by parade goers. ”

            Where does it say that in the article?

            “They were hit on several times.”

            They CLAIM they were hit on several times. No proof.

          • Paula Coyle

            No, they were not working jobs as first responders. What kind of a first responder unit puts their people in a parade where they cannot move to the site of an accident or injury or FIRE? Seriously. You must have no clue.

          • Spoob

            What is the matter with you? Their presence is being requested at a parade, and it doesn’t matter what kind of parade it is, in case there is a need for a first responder. If they refuse, they are refusing to do their duty as first responders.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “But, to participate implies support for their lifestyle.”

            Implies to who? Why would anyone view the presence of a fire company truck, knowing that they make themselves available for any parade that asks, as being a sign of support of individuals from the company for the particular group?

          • Neiman

            They certainly were not seen, as they intended, to be against homosexuality and so by default, through were seen as giving their approval, which violated their faith.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “They certainly were not seen, as they intended, to be against homosexuality”

            Given that there are numerous firefighters in the city and that people in the city would not be aware of all of them, how would their absence send a message to those at the parade that they are against homosexuality? So people in the parade would see the truck and say: “Wow, I don’t see Theodore and Stephen here. That must mean they are against homosexuality”.

            “and so by default, through were seen as giving their approval”

            Were seen by who, as giving their approval? Are you actually suggesting that people at the parade looked at the individual firefighters on the truck and said to themselves: “Oh, since they are part of the parade they must personally endorse homosexuality”?

            If we use that logic, then when they put out a fire at a home of homosexuals, they are, by default, giving their approval of homosexuality.

          • rcfrt

            They couldn’t have found a couple other firemen who wouldn’t have the same convictions? It would have been reasonable to find two other firemen to drive in the parade if there were objections.

            They were subject to all kinds of harassment as a result of this parade. ” The men then carried out their assignment against their will, but state that they experienced sexual harassment, including sexual propositions and “at least 60 profanity-laced anonymous phone calls,” from parade attendees and their co-workers both during and after the event.” So yes, they were seen as giving approval, or treated that way.

            If you can’t see the difference between putting out a fire and being placed in a position where they are seen as poster boys for a movement, you have greater problems.

          • Paula Coyle

            How do you figure they got propositioned then? Obviously some gays assumed they were gay.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “How do you figure they got propositioned then?”

            I don’t know for certain that they did. All we have on that is the word of the two employees. No proof.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            Good point.

          • Nelson Theodore Blaskie

            You need to read the article again. The firefighters were automatically considered to be gay by parade goers. They were hit on several times. Your acting ignorant on purpose.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            “You need to read the article again. The firefighters were automatically considered to be gay by parade goers.”

            There is nothing about that in the article. How was it “automatic”? Did you, or someone else, survey everyone who was at the parade and they told you they “automatically” considered every person from the fire department to be gay?

            “They were hit on several times.”

            They CLAIM they were hit on. There is no proof of that. Nor is it relevant.

            “Your acting ignorant on purpose.”

            In what way do you believe I am acting “ignorant”?

          • Paula Coyle

            So you would have no problem with driving your company vehicle in an anti-gay-pride parade? I think the city should start one of those annually.

          • thoughtsfromflorida

            If it was the policy of my company to provide a vehicle for parades when asked to do so and it was normal part of my job to be the driver, then I would do as I was asked.

            “I think the city should start one of those annually.”

            The city didn’t put on this parade. But, if you believe the city where you live should sponsor a anti-gay-pride parade, then you should get to work on that. Good luck.

          • SteveN

            Everybody knows that gays go mad for firefighters and cops, just look at the Village People 🙂

          • Paula Coyle

            They are being forced to participate in a gay pride parade. Didn’t you read the article?

          • Spoob

            Their presence as firefighters is being requested at a gay pride parade. It isn’t “participation”, it’s duty.

      • Neiman

        This had NOTHING to do with rescuing people or refusing to save gay lives, they would never refuse to rescue gay people. Yours is a false argument based on your Christ and Christian hatred.

        This was a parade and it was designed to celebrate a perverse sexual lifestyle choice which the Bible condemns, to ride in that truck in a parade was to say that the people in that truck and the department were pro-gay.

        It is not hate to oppose evil! You are the one that hates gays!

        • Spoob

          What TOTAL and UTTER GARBAGE, how DARE you! The firefighters are brought in for safety reasons, not to look stylish in a gay pride parade!

          You are suggesting a gay life is worth less than a straight one, and that is about the worst thing I have ever read from a fundamentalist!

          • Neiman

            You are surely certifiably insane, if we base that assessment on your many nonsensical ravings.

            What safety reason is accomplished by having a fire truck drive down a parade route? I would submit they are better being at or near their station to answer emergency calls.

            No one suggested a gay life is worth less than a straight one, you made that up out of silence, it was created by your own, might I suggest, diseased mind.

            It always amaze and amuses me when enemies of Christ believe they are qualified to tell Christians how Christians should think, feel or act.

          • Spoob

            They were NOT “forced to participate in a gay pride parade,” they were forced to do their JOBS which are obviously to keep the peace, they are first responders in case anything violent happens, which could EASILY take place if some fundamentalist Christian decides that it’s time for a good ol’ redneck gay bashing.

            YOU are the sick and diseased one, and you have constantly, time and again, called homosexuals diseased perverts. You are the furthest thing from a Christian, you disgust me.

          • colt721

            As I see it a fireman’s job is to fight fires and provide emergency services including lifesaving for the citizenry. NOT drive a truck in a parade. I would rather see the firefighters doing the job they are to be paid for and for which they were trained. On this point apparently only you think that somehow the firefighters JOB would somehow include being in parades and partying.

          • Spoob

            Is it the duty of a firefighter to protect and serve all people except homosexuals?

          • Gary

            You are wicked.

          • colt721

            Re read the article they were called in to BE IN THE PARADE! They were to DRIVE THE TRUCK IN THE PARADE Period end of subject. They were NOT there to be emergency responders. They really WERE there to, as you put it, “Look stylish”.

            Stop trying to twist things to meet your beliefs.
            And BECAUSE they were IN the parade participating they received sexual harassment.
            If you were placed in such a position what would YOU do?

          • Spoob

            YES. They drive the truck. In the parade. So what? Who’s going to think these are gay firefighters, and if they do, so what? Who cares?

          • Oleg Shishko

            So what??! Who cares? I do, and apparently those firefighters did: “The men then carried out their assignment against their will, but state that they experienced sexual harassment, including sexual propositions and “at least 60 profanity-laced anonymous phone calls,” from parade attendees and their co-workers both during and after the event.”

          • Spoob

            Yes, and that is the part of the story which we will call TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE BS.

          • Gary

            If you are in a parade, it is logical to assume you support the parade. And I would hate for anyone to assume I was homosexual, or that I agreed with homosexuality.

          • Spoob

            Do you think the firefighters dressed up for the parade? Do you think they would have been ordered to?

          • Gary

            Dress up? You mean like, wear dresses? No, there is no indication that happened. If that had happened, the firemen would have wanted to be in the parade.

          • Spoob

            Then why do you think them showing up in their everyday attire makes people think they are endorsing what the parade is for?

        • James Grimes

          “This was a parade and it was designed to celebrate a perverse sexual lifestyle choice which the Bible condemns” Absolutely true, Neiman. There’s no getting away from this basic fact and two firefighters were FORCED to participate.

      • railhead

        You must be a bigot to call people names like that and make such broad assertions about an entire group of people.

        • Spoob

          Oh that’s rich, calling ME a bigot – you’re basically defending the right for these firefighters to provide no safety for these people based on the sexuality they were born with! That’s sick!

      • Nelson Theodore Blaskie

        I am unable to determine if you don’t get it because you don’t want to or if you don’t get it because you’re not Christian, which would explain your final comment “I cannot BELIEVE the hate and insensitivity of people calling themselves CHRISTIANS!”

        • Spoob

          I live in Canada where there are very few fundamentalist Christians, so the hate factor that I read here from American fundies is through the roof. No Christian I’ve ever talked to made the kinds of statements I read here, which are absolutely chilling in the amount of intolerance and hatred.

      • Cold War Vet

        And what do you call yourself?

        • Spoob

          I’m a Christian, but not a crazy fundamentalist Christian.

          • Cold War Vet

            Ohh ok.. I c..

      • SteveN

        Don’t get your knickers in a twist, no one is saying don’t rescue the gays. But I would love to see the blood vessels pop on a gay firefighter being forced to participate in a Straight Christian Pride parade.

        • Spoob

          A Straight Christian Pride parade? I think those DO exist, The KKK has them.

          • SteveN

            KKK? Is that what you think? Good grief. You just topped everyone here for the dumbest comment of the day.

          • Spoob

            What, you think I’m joking? You just described a white supremacist gathering.

  • Gary

    So it isn’t just the federal courts that are corrupt. Don’t expect justice from the legal system. Handle things outside of the legal system.

    • NATHAN AMAL

      nope-it makes good legal sense-they are paid emloyees by the citizens so they must serve us all

      • Gary

        There is no doubt that their religious freedom was denied. There is nothing legal about that.

  • NATHAN AMAL

    this is good news. They are paid by all of us in taxes-yes, including gay money. So do what youre told or get anew job! silly bigots…

    • Gary

      Homosexuality is more important than morality in 2014 amerika.

  • Haqodeshim

    The state should not force the firemen on the issue, because then they are infringing upon their “religious rights” since they are not supposed to be making rules regarding the “establishment of a religion”, and forcing the firemen who are Christians to violate their Covenant with God is the same as the state asking a man to to commit infidelity against the marriage vow he would make with a wife – “There is holy and then there is Holy” -https://www.facebook.com/notes/george-walter-bratcher-iii/there-is-holy-and-then-there-is-holy/10150452285491373

    Hopefully if she loses the ACLJ and others will step in to appeal to the Federal Courts to protect their rights on the first amendment as an American citizen that no STATE has the right to trample on.

  • Frank

    They should have refused the assignment in this situation. By participating they endorsed homosexuality and insulted Jesus.

  • Peter Leh

    unanimous? that means every single judge on the RI state supreme court is a liberal? highly unlikely….

    • Neiman

      Not at all! Rhode Island is an ultra-liberal, anti-Christ state and no judge sits there that was not appointed by liberal governors.

      • Peter Leh

        every single one, eh?

        • Neiman

          Yep!

          • Peter Leh

            i would like to see that list.

      • Spoob

        Rhode Island is an anti-Christ state? Where do you get such blatantly ridiculous, alarmist statements from?

  • Peter Leh

    “The [firefighters’] appearance in the parade, solely as members of the
    Providence Fire Department, did not constitute a form of expression on
    their part,” wrote Justice William Robinson on behalf of the five-judge
    panel. “Rather, it was simply the accomplishing of a task assigned to an
    engine company of the Providence Fire Department, and the individuals
    chosen to carry out that assignment cannot be said to have engaged in
    personal speech by carrying out their work as public servants.”

    • Neiman

      The judge was wrong and he violated the 1st Amendment.

      • Peter Leh

        “judges”… not judge. the decision after all the evidence was presented to the court resulted in an unanimous verdict, 5-0.

        • Neiman

          Okay – “The judges were wrong and they violated the 1st Amendment.”

          • Peter Leh

            unanimously as well. most of the time if it is a “controversial” decision it would be a 3-2 decision. but the constitutionality was so clearly against the fireman no judge was in disagreement. pretty difficult to claim conspiracy.

          • Gary

            The court denied the firemen their rights under the first amendment to the US Constitution.

          • Neiman

            Unanimity of law or science is meaningless.

  • Cindy Creekmore

    Jesus wore a dress and lived with 12 men……..sounds gay to me!!!!

    • Neiman

      Blasphemy!

  • Peter Leh

    we seem to forget those in the homosexual community are american citizens too.

    • Neiman

      Who forgot that? Another false argument.

      • Peter Leh

        being you recognize citizenship to the homosexual community, you also recognize equal access to civil organizations. 🙂

    • Gary

      Why does their citizenship require others to go against their religion?

      • Peter Leh

        it doesn’t. the firemen have he choice to be one or not. the only requirement is for the firemen to do what they agreed to to be become a fireman initially

        • Gary

          I doubt if the firemen agreed to participate in “gay pride” parades when they became firemen. I’m sure they thought they would just be fighting fires and rescuing people from burning buildings.

          • Spoob

            The firemen WERE NOT “participating” in the parade! And no one in their right mind would have thought so.

          • Gary

            They were ordered to drive a fire truck in the parade. If you are in a parade, you are participating in it.

          • Spoob

            If you are a firefighter and take part in a parade, you are doing so not because you support or endorse what’s going on, you do so for safety reasons.

          • Gary

            Nonsense. If the parade catches fire, call 911 and the firemen will come put it out.

          • Spoob

            Gary, NO ONE from the fire department would possibly be called to attend a parade to show endorsement of homosexuals any more than they’d be called to attend a department store parade to show endorsement to that department store. They have a job and they go where they are asked to go. That’s their job.

          • Gary

            You are a fool.

          • Spoob

            No. You are the fundamentalist, not me.

  • Victoria DiAgnello

    Another point here; no one has to participate in anything. Now, I didn’t say that they wouldn’t be persecuted for refusing. But guess what? We were promised we would be persecuted when standing up for righteousness. I say this because the days ahead will grow darker and we must be ready for the storm. The solution? Follow Jesus to the end. That remark is for us who follow Christ, so haters can hold their tongues… if they can.

  • robertzaccour

    This is very wrong and should not happen! Nobody should be forced to go against their moral beliefs! As the great man Patrick Henry once said “Give me liberty, or give me death.”. The government should not be bullying it’s people forcing them to violate their own civil liberties!

  • robertzaccour

    As Christians we should willingly die to ourselves and not back down from our testimony no matter what. It’s what “The Church” was always supposed to be. Before it got comfy.

  • railhead

    Honestly, I would’ve just called in sick. And it wouldn’t be lying, because the thought of being surrounded by sodomites dressed in leather and all would’ve made me ill.

    • Gary

      I think that is a good idea. There is no way I would have driven that fire truck in that parade.

    • chip

      Dressed in leather isn’t so bad, its the other hideous costumes and behavior that accompanies such events……You don’t want kids to be anywhere around to see such a display, God doesn’t support your lifestyle choice He merely shows you how to live …..that you can be His praise a song that he would sing..but not the other who the angels will throw alive into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night before the presence of His Holy angels…Repent before its too late…God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast Love for those who fear Him.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    though i understand the decision i think the supervisor made the error in assigning people he knew did not agree with the homosexual lifestyle thus he should be reprimanded for abuse of his authority.

    • Gary

      I’m sure he made the assignments with the intention of causing problems for those men.

      • Dr. Dee Tee

        it happens.

  • Haqodeshim

    ON FB a commenter said: . . . you cannot just claim religion and refuse to do your job.

    I replied:

    A fireman’s job is to fight fires, not political agendas, and especially not to be sexually harassed as they were. Where I work, sexual harassment is not tolerated and you will be walked to the door you get caught doing it. Businesses and Governments do not want to spend the time in court, because it wastes time and money, and even if you win, you lose, by the time your management has to go to depositions taking time off from work, and not being there and being productive, and then going to court, and being there and not being at the job and being productive, and even if you win, you lose.

    State of TN had me sit for TWO HOURS in a sexual harassment class, and confirm that even jokes and language that was deemed pornographic, could be held against us as liable. I then had to sign off on a paper saying I understood what sexual harassment is, and that I was not to promote it myself on the job, or tolerate from other employees as a manager.

    I guarantee you the City of Providence, RI has such classes for its own employees to take so they can avoid these law suits. THEY KNOW BETTER.

    No city would EVER put up with it citizens harassing police or fireman at Christmas parades, so WHY DO THEY SUBJECT these fireman to such abuse and sponsor such abusive parades in the first place. This should be taken up by the ACLJ and taken to Federal Court for violating the fireman’s constitutional rights that go beyond just their first amendment right, but also infringes upon existing labor laws preventing harassment where you are employed.

    The Rhode Island Supreme Court is playing political agenda and not enforcing existing laws against harassment that are ALREADY in place. EVERYONE of the members of that court that ruled against the firemen needs to be disbarred and removed from office.

  • bowie1

    Several decades ago while living and working in Toronto I would sometimes advertise for a position in the graphic arts field and I would get unwanted calls from homosexuals in the middle of the night. But then I was already married to a fine young lady, and I was not “one of them.” Why would straight firefighters get sexual propositions then?

  • Adam Sternberg

    I’m curious if the same judge would say that a vegan has to participate in eating pork while they are on the job? Somehow, I think they wouldn’t.

  • American4Truth

    Participation in any parade should be optional. A fire fighter’s job shouldn’t entail being forced to do public relation stints. This fire department should have asked for volunteers. This state’s supreme court hasn’t convinced me that these firefighter’s religious freedom rights weren’t violated.

  • Cold War Vet

    Just goes to show you a lack of common sense and character are rampant even at the supreme Taco level..

  • Paula Coyle

    ““Why should the gay-pride parade be any different than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Purim Parade, or any parade in Providence? It shouldn’t, and it wasn’t.””

    SO they’re going to fire Muslim fire fighters for not wanting to participate in the St Patrick’s Day Parade or the Purim parade right?

  • Julie Ann

    If it were a muslim firefighter who did not want to participate in a parade where pork was served, or where alcohol was served because it is against their religious beliefs, I would bet that they would not be forced to drive the fire truck. What is going on here in this country? Why would it be ok if it were a muslim it not a christian?

  • Julie Ann

    Why is it ok to “offend” Christians, but you can not offend Muslims?

  • Maria Wilson

    isn’t this illegal to use state vehicle for personal group parades ?

  • Maria Wilson

    Aren’t firefighter trucks Government properties ?114S-38.301-70 Official Use of Government-Owned

    or -Leased Motor Vehicles.

    In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 638a(c)(2), the use of Government-owned

    or -leased motor vehicles is restricted to official purposes.

    Their use in the transportation of employees between their homes

    and places of employment is specifically prohibited except for

    those employees engaged in fieldwork, the character of whose duties

    makes such transportation necessary. In such cases prior authorization

    by the Secretary of the Interior with concurrence from the Commissioner

    must be obtained. (See 41

    CFR 101-6.)

    (a) Personal Use Prohibited. Authority will

    not be granted at any level of administrative responsibility

    for the personal use of any item of Government-owned or -leased

    property. This includes the use of space in a Government garage

    or repair shop, and Government-owned tools, parts, and accessories

    in the maintenance or repair of privately-owned motor vehicles.

    (b) Penalties for Violations. The following

    law and regulations prescribe mandatory penalties for the unofficial

    use of Government-owned or -leased motor vehicles:

    (1) 31 U.S.C. 638a(c)(2) provides that:

    Any officer or employee of the Government who willfully uses

    or authorizes the use of any Government-owned motor vehicle for

    other than official purposes, will be suspended from duty by

    the head of the Department (including independent establishments,

    other agencies, wholly owned Government corporations and the

    District of Columbia Government) concerned, without compensation,

    for not less than 1 month, and will be suspended for a longer

    period or summarily dismissed from office if circumstances warrant.

    (2) By these instructions prohibition against the unofficial

    use of any type of Government-owned motor vehicle is extended

    to cover motor vehicles of any type leased or rented by Reclamation,

    and the penalties provided for unofficial use of Government-owned

    motor vehicles will be applicable to such use of leased or rented

    motor vehicles.

    (c) Authorized and Unauthorized Use. 41 CFR

    301-10.201 describes the approved limited use of Government-furnished

    vehicles while on travel status. Listed below are examples of

    authorized and unauthorized uses of Government-furnished vehicles.

    • Trudge1

      I think the fire truck was state owned.
      The city or county purchases the trucks and the firehouse.
      They like to parade them around and show them off and it gives the mayor some puffery. (< That's a word?)
      But it wouldn't be a bad idea for them to adopt some of those rules.

  • Trudge1

    Did they send the dog catcher also?
    Or was it just Shawn and Sean?
    Sick.

  • Trudge1

    Would they send black firefighters in an engine to participate in a KKK parade?
    Just Sayin’.

  • Bruce9

    ‘Part of their job’ NOT. Forced agenda, part of the dismantling objective of the US.
    May God bring His plan and will. Matthew 19