Firefighters in San Diego are suing the San Diego Fire Department at the state-level for allegedly being forced to participate in this summer’s gay pride events, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In a statement released Monday, Fire Capt. John Ghiotto, Engineer Jason Hewett and firefighters Chad Allison and Alex Kane alleged forced participation as well as sexual harassment during the pride parade. The men state that they were told they had to drive the fire truck in the parade or else risk disciplinary action.
The men are claiming that they were the targets of taunting and sexual gestures and that the SDFD did not act quickly enough to address the issue. The men were forced to endure statements such as “You can put out my fire,” as well as other lewd comments. In addition, the men were subjected to anti-gay harassment due to their participation in the parade.
Following the allegations, Fire Chief Tracy Jarman apologized to the men and said that there would be a proper investigation into their claims. Jarman, an out lesbian, also stated that the SDFD had participation for over 15 years in the gay festivities without receiving a complaint.