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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
91.

Warren    

Look Harvey we know you are gay. Stop harassing all of your employees to fight for gay issues. I am going to file a complaint on behalf of your employees that you force them to view gay content and have a hostile working environment where if you don't openly fight for gay causes you are blacklisted.

1171 days ago
92.

Travis    

@Todd - As the article clearly states, corrections officers are allowed to wear their uniforms in other parades including the Christmas parade and the Carrot Festival parade. So it is absolutely discrimination.

1171 days ago
93.

Biggest TMZ Fan    

Gloria AllGreen redefines the sleezy lawyer!

1171 days ago
94.

Superman    

What next? Showing your authority as a cop by supporting porn stars, whores, sluts, and famewhores in a "parade"?

1171 days ago
95.

Tammie    

While I wish more gays were represented in jobs like police/fire etc...I absolutely do not think that the Gay Pride parade does anything to further the cause of gay people. The Gay Pride parade is not about IMO being a proud gay person, but EVERYTHING about being *perceived* as a negative stereotype. It does nothing to educate people that Gay folks are like everyone else. My daughter is gay and I couldn't be more proud of her!!!!!! I wish there were parades that had people with clothes ON that were a better reflection of the gay community. All people see at these parades (I live here) are outlandish and vulgar exhibitionists that have nothing to do with being gay, but rather being outlandish whether gay or straight. Not the message that I want to send out on what being gay means!!!! Now if this young man wants to wear the uniform proudly at an event which does not traditionally display the crude and outlandish but dignified and PROUD expressions of being gay...I say wear it proudly and I will be standing in line waving at you and supporting you!!!!! Gloria to me has nothing to do with equal rights and everything to do with attention and the non gay Benjamin's she deposits in the bank.

1171 days ago
96.

rhbjorn    

It's a judgement call, made by his superior. The boss called it and that's it. Thats why it's called management.

1171 days ago
97.

Travis    

@agold - The LAPD allows their officers to wear their uniforms in Pride parades. This officer works for the corrections department, which allow their officers to wear their uniforms in other prades but not Pride parades.

1171 days ago
98.

Tony B    

Good for him.

So sick of all the BS prejudice in this country.

Just let others live their lives and leave everyone alone!

Sheesh.

HI HARVEY! LOVE YA MAN!!!

1171 days ago
99.

smashley    

Seriously who cares... but the fact that hes throwing a huge btch fit over it and got cozy with that leach Allred makes me sick. He gives gay men a bad name. Hope its worth it .

I agree with other posts if he's not working or give permission then get the eff over it pussbag.

1171 days ago
100.

smashley    

Seriously who cares... but the fact that hes throwing a huge btch fit over it and got cozy with that leach Allred makes me sick. He gives gay men a bad name. Hope its worth it .

I agree with other posts if he's not working or give permission then get the eff over it pussbag.

1171 days ago
101.

St James III    

Why is he so pressed to March in his work clothes. Put some regular clothes on and March until you blue in the face.

And why is their even a March based on the type of people you like to sleep with anyway???

1171 days ago
102.

Albert D'Orazio    

This man should exercise his right to wear his work uniform at the gay parade and the supervisors should not block that right from him.

For all you bigots out there, we will not shut up, you homophobes have kept us in the closet for so long we will not go back, we will shout it on top of a mountain! You can't tell someone who is born gay who is part of a minority that have been persecuted for centuries and is still being persecuted, to not be proud and loud about themselves. If you don't like it, get the hell out of the galaxy because gay people have always been here and will always be here.

1171 days ago
103.

libertarian    

My son is a correctional officer in Md and he is not allowed to wear his uniform except at work and transporting yourself to work. That is the law here in Md, may be different in Ca.

1171 days ago
104.

OCRedCub    

Are African-American Correctional Officers allowed to wear their uniform in a Black History Parade?
Do they allow COs of Irish descent to wear their uniforms in the St. Patrick's Day Parade?
If so, then Mr. Johnson should be allowed to wear his at CSW. It's just fair.
It's about letting people know that we're everywhere. If your dream is to be a prison guard, don't let your orientation stop you from going for it!

1171 days ago
105.

Albert D'Orazio    

You hetero's don't understand. You don't know what it's like to be gay. First of all, you have to understand that no one chooses what gender they are attracted to, we are simply born that way. I mean, did you choose to be a hetero? Second of all, to be gay is hard, you have to come out to your family and friends and you have to worry if they will shun and judge you for something so petty. Being born gay means being persecuted, discriminated and hated. So forgive us if we like to show and shout what little pride and self dignity we have left.

1171 days ago
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