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Gay Cop

Fights for Right

to March in Uniform

6/7/2011 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A gay correctional officer is outraged that his department thinks marching in uniform in the West Hollywood gay pride parade is a "discredit" to the department ... and he's taking legal action to fight for his rights.

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Andrew Johnson works as a correctional officer for the California Institution for Women in Chino, CA.  He's also a member of the Gay Peace Officers Association.  Johnson asked his superiors at the Department of Corrections for permission to march in uniform on Sunday, but was told he couldn't do it because of a law that prohibits officers from marching in uniform if it would bring "discredit" to the department.

Johnson's lawyer, Gloria Allred, said at a news conference that other departments -- including the LAPD, L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the CHP -- allow officers to march in uniform in the parade.

Allred says the Department of Corrections allows officers to march in uniform in other parades, including the Christmas parade and the Carrot Festival.

Allred says she's filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Allred wouldn't let Johnson speak, because of fear of retaliation.

She wants the warden to reverse his position so Johnson can march.

217 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Craig    

The rule should be the same for all cops for all events - you don't wear your uniform unless you're a) on duty or b) representing the police in some official capacity. His sexual preference should have nothing to do with it. The police are wrong for not establishing a clear and consistent policy on this matter. The gay cop is wrong for trying to prove his point this way. And Gloria Allred is just plain wrong period.

1173 days ago
62.

Dave    

I'm always surprised by all the homophobia on this site's commenting sections. Some of you people really need to grow up and stop being so bigoted.

1173 days ago
63.

paigehop    

The problem with IT participating in the parade is that the ****** parades are nothing but flesh bizarres. Fetishist behavior, overtly sexual displays, etc. It would absolutely be a discredit on the polic department! Let me guess, he was going to be carrying his night "STICK", too, right?

Attorneys for the police department need to pull out all stops on this one, by getting previous march vidoes, pics, etc. to show all the debotchery and probably illegal conduct in the process. You know, the discrediting stuff.

1173 days ago
64.

jewels    

Do you seriously want to look like a reject from the Village People? March in your stupid parade if it makes you happy, but WHY does it have to be in uniform? Oh...of course...it's so you can get extra attention, file a big fat lawsuit, and never have to work again, right?? And Gloria Allred is one of the many tools helping to run this country into the ground. She is nothing put an attention whore.

1173 days ago
65.

Hey Now    

How in the world does Gloria Allred hear about these people? She's everywhere!!!

1173 days ago
66.

Shannon    

Using the uniform to advance his own personal agenda is unethical and should not be allowed.

1173 days ago
67.

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff    

the skanky bitch is back...does this ambulance whore ever change her clothes...gloria allred is what breast cancer looks like when its a human! and now shes taking on homos....bitch will do anything for money.....allred is nothing more than human chit!

1173 days ago
68.

Jackie    

Gay people are so sensitive, they play the card orientation....each-time they aren't allowed to do whatever they want. ha ha.

1173 days ago
69.

LonnieB    

"IN YOUR FACE" advocacy hurts more than helps ANY cause, especially deviate social causes.
Anytime a fringe group acts to aggressively force their viewpoint, they cast themselves in a bad light. It's just human nature to reject, or push back at whatever is forcing itself on you or your life.

Just as one may have a "right" to say or be what they choose, everyone else has just as much right to reject and/or condemn that which they disagree with or find offensive.

In other words...just because you want to do it or be it, does NOT obligate everyone else to approve of or accept it.

That's real life, to borrow a favorite gay retort...GET USED TO IT!!!

DOWN WITH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!!!!

1173 days ago
70.

RealityBites    

I have to agree with the city, if he is off duty he is not supposed to wear his uniform, it is for work or when used for an official capacity. His making a big deal out of their refusal is childish. This is an off duty personal event and it should not be worn. Just like it should never be worn to a costume party or any other non sanctioned police event.

1173 days ago
71.

Mary     

He's not a "Cop" he's a security Guard. Major difference! Also, his uniform represents where he works and they have the right to have a say in whether or not he can wear it. He's looking for some type of glory in his underachieved life. If he was working at McDonalds do you think he'd want to sport that uniform?

1173 days ago
72.

Gooseilini    

Everyone seems to be focused on if he should be allowed to wear his uniform or not. The issue here is not because he was denied. It was the reason for his denial. It's discrimination, on paper. Allred or not, the guy has a real case and good reason to be upset. His agency allows other officers to march in other parades in uniform so, why can't he? Oh, gays are a "discredit" to any serious agency.... I forgot.

1173 days ago
73.

Broncho4    

This is a parade that expresses sexual orientation (a private matter). Why on earth does anyone think it's appropriate for him to wear his uniform?

Rent a cop suit and move on you little baby.

This is a non issue. Why does everything have to be a defining moment? If he was in the NFL, MLB or any other branded profession they would have the right to prohibit the use of their uniform in a parade expressing sexuality. End of story!

1173 days ago
74.

FLO    

Equal rights for ALL citizens anything less is discrimination.

1173 days ago
75.

garyleenance@yahoo.com    

I'm looking at the poll results to the question on this article, and am amazed, surprised and saddened to see so many close-minded individuals responding in the negative about: Allow Johnson to march in uniform
59%Yes
41%No

Total Votes: 9,496
I thought TMZ viewers/readers were more modern and cool with things...

1173 days ago
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