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San Diego Firefighters Forced to Participate in “Gay Pride” Parade File Lawsuit Against City

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

SAN DIEGO, CA, August 7, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Four respected San Diego firefighters were ordered, against their wishes, to participate in uniform on their city fire truck in the city’s annual "Gay Pride" parade.  During the course of the ensuing three hour long ordeal, the firefighters were subjected to obscene sexual taunts from homosexuals lining the parade route.  This included the following statements:  "show me your hose," "you can put out my fire," "you’re making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," "you look hungry, why don’t you have a twinkie (from a man wearing a "Girth and Mirth" t-shirt)," and "blow my hose."  These firemen are devoted husbands and fathers.  When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile and started shouting, "F-k you firemen" and others began "flipping them off." 

  San Diego area attorney, Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Director of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is representing the firefighters in their legal claims against the city.  LiMandri was also the lead counsel in the successful Mt. Soledad Cross case in San Diego.  A 52 year native San Diegan, LiMandri stated:  "What happened to these dedicated public servants was inexcusable.  The City should have known from past experience the kind of offensive activities that go on at this event.  This was a clear case of sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law as well as the City’s own code of conduct."

  Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center added, "These firefighters dedicated their lives to save the lives of others. They did not sign on to become unwilling props to a controversial political and social agenda."

  Continued Thompson, "The constitutional right to free speech also protects the right not to speak.  These men should not have to explain to their families, friends and church congregations that their presence at a celebration of lewdness and obscenity in support of the homosexual agenda was because they were forced there by way of a direct order.  This is a clear violation of their constitutional rights, and the City must be held accountable.  It should never happen again to any city employee."

  The firefighters were also targets of gross sexual gestures to include the following: exposure of genitals, blowing kisses, grabbing of the crotch, rubbing of nipples, tongue gestures, men hugging and kissing one another passionately, many of them wearing make-up and dressed like women. Although the firefighters were not physically assaulted, the gestures were clearly directed towards them.

  The so-called "gay pride" parade took place on July 21, 2007 in San Diego.  On July 20, 2007, the four firefighters in question were told by their superiors that they would be participating in the parade.  All four repeatedly protested that they did not wish to participate.  In the past, firefighters that participated in the parade generally did so on a volunteer basis.   On the morning of July 21, 2007, however, these same four firefighters were ordered into their uniforms and made to participate in the parade in their fire truck. The firefighters were left with the Hobson’s choice of either violating their conscience or being disciplined for disobeying a direct order. 

  While on the parade route, the firefighters were subjected to the most vulgar kinds of sexual harassment.  To quote one of the firefighters: "You could not even look at the crowd without getting some type of sexual gesture."  This firefighter further added, "If any crew member were to hang up pictures at the station of what we saw, we would be disciplined." 


  Local papers reporting on the parade made no mention of the lewd and offensive behavior that characterized the parade.   

  Brian Rooney, an attorney and Director of Communications at the Law Center who lived in San Diego for over three years while serving as a Marine officer commented,  "This event panders to the most base elements of what is advertised as ‘America’s Finest City’.  Even the homosexual community should be outraged and ashamed of the sexual harassment these firemen were forced to endure." 

  Fire Chief, Tracy Jarman, an open lesbian, stated, "This is a fun event and all employees are encouraged to participate."  When Jarman was appointed Fire Chief she stated that her homosexuality has never been an issue at the department and she has never seen any gay-related trouble.  Rooney commented, "Obviously the environment at the department has changed for the worse since Jarman has been appointed Fire Chief. ‘Participation’ should be a voluntary act-these four firefighters had no choice in the matter and that is wrong no matter what one’s sexual orientation." 

  Thompson commented, "This is another example of how radical homosexual activists in positions of authority force their agenda on unwilling citizens.  Although the local media avoided mentioning the debauchery and the obscenity that pervaded the parade, the general public should know what went on and how these firefighters were forced to participate against their will."

  To politely express concerns:

  Mayor Jerry Sanders
  City Administration Building
  11th Floor, 202 C Street
  San Diego, CA 92101
  Phone: (619) 236-6330
  Fax: (619) 236-7228
  E-mail the Office of the Mayor:[email protected]

  City of Ethics and Integrity:
  City Administration Building
  202 "C" Street, 9th Floor
  San Diego, CA 92101
  Telephone: (619) 236-7182
  Fax: (619) 236-6067
  E-mail: [email protected]

  San Diego Council members:

  Council President Scott Peters
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Councilmember Kevin Faulconer
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Council President Pro Tem Tony Young
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Councilmember Brian Maienschein
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Councilmember Donna Frye
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Councilmember Jim Madaffer
  E-mail: [email protected]
  Councilmember Ben Hueso
  E-mail: [email protected] 

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David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, on the right.
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

All one fight: Why the leader of 40 Days for Life says he may become active in the fight for marriage

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just eight years ago, 40 Days for Life was founded as a pro-life Christian ministry. This year, it reached 252 cities in 19 countries.

Now, says founder and National Director David Bereit, he's discerning whether to expand his personal activism to marriage.

"The various moral issues we confront in our culture today are all intrinsically connected," Bereit told LifeSiteNews at Saturday's March for Marriage. “When you look at the various factors that lead to the breakdown of nations and civilizations, they are moral factors," Bereit said. "It's the devaluing of human life, it's the abandonment of religious belief and practice, it's immorality -- the increase thereof – and it's the breakdown of the family."

"They're all tied into this moving away from God, and America was founded as a nation with Christian principles and ideals that used to say 'In God We Trust.' And the further we've turned away from that, the more we have fallen,” he said. "I believe that with man, turning the tide in our culture is not possible, but with God, all things are possible."

Bereit stressed that his attendance at the March for Marriage, as well as his ongoing process of discernment, was representative only of his own circumstances -- not those of 40 Days for Life, which remains an abortion-focused ministry.

Bereit did not shy away from questions that are often raised about what President Barack Obama called America's “tragic” history.

"America was built on Judeo-Christians principles,“ he said. “There are still fallen people that make up our churches and our communities."

"The question is, will people of faith and conscience turn back to God and do their very best to align themselves with the principles that formed our nation and made our nation such a great place in history?"

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The third annual March for Marriage, which was organized by the National Organization for Marriage and exclusively livestreamed by LifeSiteNews, drew thousands of people, mostly minorities, just three days before what is being billed as the definitive U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue of same-sex "marriage."  

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‘Persecution plain and simple’:  Franklin Graham fundraises for Oregon bakers after GoFundMe shuts them down

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By Ben Johnson

BOONE, NC, April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – First, they were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage” ceremony. Then, a rival business owner convinced GoFundMe.com to stop Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein from raising money to pay the fine on the grounds that, since their religious beliefs violate state law, they are common criminals.

Now, one of the nation's most well-known Christian ministers and philanthropists is coming to their aid.

An administrative law judge fined the Oregon bakers, proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, $135,000 to pay for the emotional suffering of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer – a lesbian couple who say they feel the Kleins “mentally raped” them.

The Kleins have since closed their Portland-area business and lost substantial income. After hearing of the fine on Friday, Melissa said the amount would financially crush them.

The family opened a GoFundMe page and, within hours, they collected more than $109,000.

Then Lisa Watson, the co-owner of Cupcake Jones in Portland, began lobbying the website to banish the couple's appeal.

“The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,” Watson wrote on Facebook. She added that the website's “terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign.”

GoFundMe then suspended the Kleins' fundraising.

“While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “However, the subjects of the 'Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa' campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The day after the announcement Watson, who operates her business with husband Peter Shanky, posted a photo of her 2015 Equality Advocate Award “for outstanding leadership to advanced lived equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

The Kleins hope the website will reconsider. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions,” the Kleins wrote on Facebook.

That's when the Reverend Franklin Graham and his ministry Samaritan's Purse stepped in, allowing those who wish to alleviate the couple's suffering to donate on its website.

"The fund was created to help persecuted Christians in the U.S., including Aaron and Melissa Klein,” an employee at Samaritan's Purse told LifeSiteNews today. “It was only activated over the weekend and the organization has not yet announced any numbers. Currently, Samaritan's Purse is focused on the earthquake in Nepal and providing relief supplies to people impacted by the disaster.”

Graham praised the Kleins' steadfastness in the face of legal challenges. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” the ministry's founder and president Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children. Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

“God bless Reverend Franklin Graham,” AFR Talk radio host Bryan Fischer said today. 

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The Kleins will still receive the money raised by GoFundMe, in addition to any supplemental funds raised by Graham's international charitable ministry.

Conservative author Dan Calabrese wrote that “Melissa's Sweet Cakes will not have to go into bankruptcy and the family won't personally be ruined. And what a disappointment that must be to the gay mafia, whose agenda is to intimidate all gay marriage opponents into not just silence but compliance, for fear of just such” an outcome.

Christians have risen to the challenge before. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 after the Indiana pizzeria was harassed into closing its doors for saying it would cater a same-sex “wedding.”

Calabrese warns that these victories may lead to more intense anti-Christian persecution.

“When put in an untenable position like this, Christians and others who support their right to operate their business as they see fit will come to their aid. So the gay mafia will take it up a notch, attempting to intimidate the fundraising organizations from cooperating with the effort,” he said.

If that fails, “Maybe they can persuade friendly Democrat lawmakers (or terrified Republicans) to legislate them out of business.”

Readers can donate to the Klein family here.

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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ – a deeper love

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By John-Henry Westen

April 27, 2015 (CNSNews.com) -- Same-sex “marriage” – the legal recognition of same-sex relationships – is one of the most contentious issues in America. Laws, constitutional interpretation, and the future of religious liberty may well rest on what nine justices decide two months from now.

Many observers seem to believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of redefining marriage. And while many on all sides of the debate, especially those who are undecided, believe this will bring cultural peace, evidence around the world points in the exact opposite direction.

Rather than settle animosity and ease cultural tensions, the advent of same-sex “marriage” will lead to the repression of religious freedom and determination to root out dissent to the gay rights doctrine. At LifeSiteNews, we have watched this play out for nearly two decades in 17 countries around the world – and America is next.

A prime example is Canada. Same-sex “marriage” passed in 2005. Similar to European countries which have done so, there has been a relentless pursuit of the minds of children against the wishes of their parents. Schools, both public and private, were first mandated by law to have gay-straight alliance clubs under the auspices of anti-bullying. Then, sex-education, teaching the normalcy of homosexual sex, was given to children without parents being permitted to opt their children out of the classes.

We have arrived at this state of affairs because of the silence of Christian pulpits on sexual matters, and the concomitant shouting from every secular pulpit, screen and book. Even the current discussion around same-sex “marriage” in the United States reveals a grave reluctance to speak about the heart of the issue – homosexual sex. Rather, arguments are made about the goodness of natural marriage, about its benefit to children, and its unchangeable character.

From reporting on the subject every day for so many years, we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage. In fact, until just recently, gay activists didn’t even want to be “married” to each other. Most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.

However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behavior. And, frankly, they have largely succeeded.

Today, in many of the nations where same-sex “marriage” is law, opposition to it is seen as akin to racism. It is seen falsely as an animosity against someone for who they are—an unwillingness to recognize the human dignity of a class of persons due to an immutable characteristic.

However, that false perception is due to a purposeful agenda to conflate animosity against homosexual sex acts with animosity against persons who experience same-sex attraction. The ancient Christian teaching to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is an impermissible distinction in the minds of some. It is, however, the key to understanding the majority of the opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The plain truth of the matter is that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is rooted not in hatred and bigotry, but just the opposite – in love. Like parents who do not allow children to behave dangerously without lovingly correcting them, opponents of same-sex relationships are hoping to save people with same-sex attractions from severe physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

Just as, out of love and concern for their children’s welfare, parents must correct and discipline, despite the protests they may get in return, any true believer in marriage, natural law and science must lovingly correct their fellow man.

In other nations, the perception that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is based upon bigotry has led to laws that violate religious liberty, parental rights and freedom of speech. This is why those who oppose same-sex “marriage” must present their reasoning as based on love and concern for the welfare of those in homosexual relationships, in addition to concerns for children and society itself. And there is ample evidence on which to base that concern in the numerous studies showing the grave harm of homosexual sex to both body and psyche.

When I’ve spoken of these findings at conferences around the world, some have questioned if the researchers who showed these harms weren’t themselves biased by anti-gay sentiment. And so I’ve taken to carrying with me on my phone the quotes of the late Canadian gay activist Gens Hellquist, whose testimony proves the harms of gay sex better than any study ever could.

Speaking a year after the passage of same-sex “marriage” into law, Hellquist was seeking more healthcare dollars for the LGBT community. "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country,” he said. “Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS."

"There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community,” he added. “We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.”

He concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Pastors and preachers must take up this call to speak the truth in love, for without this approach, the public will be led to believe that those opposed to same-sex “marriage” are indeed haters needing to be stopped with the force of law. Love is the most powerful force in any argument, and gay “marriage” pushers have used it very effectively. As Hilary Clinton tweeted as she fought religious freedom laws in Indiana: “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

The truth is that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are showing a deeper love, as any parent does when instilling difficult discipline. We have enough love and concern for those with same-sex attraction to warn them not to engage in behaviors proven to be very harmful. We won’t encourage people to enter into such harmful behaviors by redefining marriage to encourage it, nor will we allow our children to be indoctrinated into regarding it as a healthy and safe alternative lifestyle.

We have failed so far to get this message of love out to the public. I will not be surprised if the Supreme Court approves of same-sex “marriage” – and I will be even less surprised to see a subsequent  crackdown on religious freedom, as already seen in states like California and Colorado.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted it a decade ago. Observing the international trends, the then-Cardinal said “very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS News

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