Firefighters face discipline case over gay pride march

ted_bloody_maul

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#1
Firefighters who refused to carry out duties at a gay march last month have faced a disciplinary hearing.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said a number of firefighters attended the hearing.

A second date for remaining firefighters has been set for 28 August and he said "no decision on this matter will be taken before that date".

It follows the refusal of about 10 men to distribute fire safety literature at the Pride Scotia march in Glasgow.

The firefighters, based at Cowcaddens, were reported by superior officers for disobeying orders.

'Highly controversial issue'

Fire Brigades Union Scotland chairman Roddy Robertson said: "We have a job to do for our members but cannot comment.

"It is a highly controversial issue."

Gay rights campaign group Stonewall Scotland said it backed the disciplinary proceedings.

Director Calum Irving said: "A modern fire service does a lot of community safety and trying to reach as many different parts as they can.

"Firefighters visit church groups and other community groups.

"There's no good reason why they should not have been engaged with the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) community, which a number of fire services across Scotland are doing very well."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/gla ... 216244.stm
 

zarathustraspake

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#2
My God, what a bunch of utter pillocks. Did they think that if they went along and handed out some fire safety leaflets somebody would come up behind them and sodomise them? Or do they just think gays deserve to catch fire?

I hope the disciplinary tribunal strings them up. And makes them attend the next ten incidents wearing a pink glittery firefighters uniform.
 

escargot

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#3
Yup, firefighters are s'posed to protect EVERYONE, not just those they approve of.

I wonder if they had a much less deep-seated reason for refusing than mere homophobic prejudice, though? I mean, attending a gay event dressed as firemen - they probably just couldn't stand the pisstaking. ;)
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#4
escargot1 said:
Yup, firefighters are s'posed to protect EVERYONE, not just those they approve of.

I wonder if they had a much less deep-seated reason for refusing than mere homophobic prejudice, though? I mean, attending a gay event dressed as firemen - they probably just couldn't stand the pisstaking. ;)
apparently it clashed with the final round round of games in their table tennis tournament.
 
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#5
hey! even some firemen are gay. the chaplain of the new york fire dept who was killed on 9/11 was gay.
 

escargot

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#6
Hmm, table tennis?
Couldn't they all play with their balls together another day?
 

JamesWhitehead

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#7
"Dear Pouffs & Lezzers,

We are sorry we cannot attend your function. We have looked in our diary and found that on that day we will mainly be busy standing around the biscuit on the floor.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub"

:shock:
 

OneWingedBird

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#8
Did they think that if they went along and handed out some fire safety leaflets somebody would come up behind them and sodomise them?
Maybe only if they asked nicely :roll: :twisted:
 

zarathustraspake

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#9
Maybe they were worried about too many sarcastic comments about how their uniforms clash with their skin tone

or maybe the event clashed with a Dannii Minogue concert they all wanted to go to?




Why can't people understand that God wants gays to be injured by chip pan fires?
 

ted_bloody_maul

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#11
zarathustraspake said:
Why can't people understand that God wants gays to be injured by chip pan fires?
phew! i thought it was just the west coast of scotland that was affected by that plague.
 

Quake42

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#12
Hmmm... at the risk of sounding homophobic, I can have some sympathy for the firefighters if they genuinely thought they would be sexually harrassed by turning up to the march in uniform, because frankly no one - male or female - should have to put up with that at work.

If female nurses, for example, were reluctant to attend a rugby club event because they did not want to have to put up with catcalls, being groped etc, I think most of the posters on here would be defending them.

One of my bosses is gay and very out and proud about it - nothing wrong with that but he does often behave in an inappropriate way with more junior male colleagues. He touches their legs, makes flirty comments, invades their personal space etc. People are reluctant to complain for fear of being accused of homophobia, but ultimately it is just as much of an abuse of power as a male boss harrassing a junior female colleague.
 

escargot

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#13
If someone is sexually harassing subordinates it's illegal whichever sex any of them are. Quake's colleagues should complain. Management normally listen attentively - if they don't, and it's taken further, it can get expensive. ;)

If the firefighters are upset by sexual mickeytaking, which is a form of harassment, then it can be addressed. The organisers of the event can be approached and told that participants are NOT to compliment the firemen on their nice buns and pecs etc. :lol:

Of course, if the ribaldry is coming from the public, that's just tough. But as most people love firemen I doubt if that's the case.
 

DerekH16

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#14
I can understand it. (The refusal to attend the parade.)

'We require personnel to hand out leaflets at a Gay Pride march'

'Ye want me tae take part in a poofs parade? Feck aff!'

I don't condone it, but some people are just not comfortable with being placed in 'that' position - their choice.

Personally, sexual orientation doesn't bother me (unless it's 'over the top')


[space left for target]


but I appreciate that many people are uncomfortable with 'deviant' behaviour.

And some people will refuse to be associated with anything that suggests that they condone that behaviour. Like appearing at a gay pride march.
 

BaronHardacre

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#15
So would it be acceptable if they had refused to do the same at say, the the Notting Hill Carnival, because they don't like black people?
It's their job, and as with any job there are parts that you don't like, but their wages come from the taxes of everyone, gay people included.
They should grow up.
 

Quake42

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#16
It's their job, and as with any job there are parts that you don't like, but their wages come from the taxes of everyone, gay people included.
They should grow up.
Well it depends what you mean. If they are simply saying that they don't like gay people, I entirely agree with you.

If what they are saying is that they are reluctant to attend in uniform as they think they will be sexually harassed, then I have rather more sympathy because as I say, no one should have to put up with that at work.
 

lopaka

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#17
But, the distiction being, that if the story had read eg: "Firefighters refused to attend after experiencing harassment at last year's parade, complaining to their superiors, and not receiving any assurances it wouldn't happen again" then I'd be inclined to to agree with you.

And for all we know, that's the case. But from the information supplied it sure sounds like they refused to attend because of their fear of what might happen, without any basis for that belief other than their own fears, prejudices and stereotypes. And as public employees charged with protecting, educating and serving the taxpaying public they don't really get to choose which groups of people they'll perform their jobs for based on nothing but those people belonging to a particular group.
 

escargot

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#18
Yup. And they should anyway get out in public as often as possible, becasue they are so darned ornamental.* :D

*has a weakness for broad braces and shiny helmets
 

tastyintestines

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#19
I really don't see what is wrong with them not attending. A parade is a celebration. Maybe they are not gay and don't wanna celebrate gay culture. No one would be complaining if they turned down a kkk rally\parade. Anyways, wouldn't taking away their right to opinion and choice be a form of fascism.


Anybody know the fine details on fireman and the law\rule that says they have to meet a parade quota??
 
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#20
wouldn't taking away their right to opinion and choice be a form of fascism.
No. Fascism means smashing all democracy, banning trade unions, shoving gays, jews, gypsys etc into gas chamber. Or whoever happens to be the particular scapegoat, could be blacks, asians.

Whether or not these firemen have been treated unfairly is of course a matter for debate. But do have a sense of proportion. Its not Fascism (imho).
 

BaronHardacre

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#21
tonyblair11 said:
I really don't see what is wrong with them not attending. A parade is a celebration. Maybe they are not gay and don't wanna celebrate gay culture. No one would be complaining if they turned down a kkk rally\parade.
As far as the article says, all they were asked to do was hand out fire saftey leaflets, which is part of their job. A job which they get paid for.
I know the kind of reaction I'd get from my boss if I said I wasn't going to speak to some of our customers because I didn't like or felt intimidated by them.
The firemen were also not being personally asked to celebrate anything.
And to compare attending a gay pride march with attending a KKK rally isn't really in the best taste, now is it?
 

graylien

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#22
According to the news reports I've read so far, the firefighters boycotted the parade on "moral grounds", not because they were afraid of being sexually harassed.

Now according to Strathclyde Fire Service's Equal Opportunity Policy
An individual's sexual orientation is wholly a matter of personal choice which shall be recognised not only by the Board and the Brigade but also by all employees in the organisation. There can be a high level of intolerance in the workplace with many individuals experiencing the daily denial of a major part of their own identity. To 'come out' and 'be out' often leads to victimisation, harassment and attack

The Board will not tolerate discrimination on these grounds and ...will take appropriate action to eradicate such behaviour.
The 'rebel' firefighters presumably agreed to adhere by this policy when they joined the fire service. So if working with gay colleagues doesn't conflict with their personal morality, why does working with gay members of the public suddenly present such a problem? They can't have it both ways.
 

Anome

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#24
blackhand2010 said:
So would it be acceptable if they had refused to do the same at say, the the Notting Hill Carnival, because they don't like black people?
An extremely valid point, and one that is frequently overlooked. We went through all this 50 years ago with black people. (In some ways, and in some places we still are.) The parallels seem to be lost on many.
 

stu neville

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#25
ramonmercado said:
wouldn't taking away their right to opinion and choice be a form of fascism.
No. Fascism means smashing all democracy, banning trade unions, shoving gays, jews, gypsys etc into gas chamber. Or whoever happens to be the particular scapegoat, could be blacks, asians.
No it doesn't - that could equally be applied to Communism under Stalin. What you defined there is totalitarian oppression by extremes of any political hue.

The appellation "fascist", these days, tends to say more about those who make the accusation than those who are accused (you can thank Rik Mayall for that ;).).
Whether or not these firemen have been treated unfairly is of course a matter for debate. But do have a sense of proportion. Its not Fascism (imho).
Handing out such leaflets is part of their job, at the end of the day. Equally, everyone has the right to be protected from sexual harrassment - in the real world, however, sometimes you can't avoid it (ask any nurse working A&E on a Friday night.) Nevertheless, to assume they're going to be gang-sodded just because of the nature of the parade is as bad an assumption that all gay men are child-molesters. However much the firemen may not want to do it, IMHO they should just get on with it. Surely it's not as risky as running into a burning house :)?
 

escargot

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#26
Do we know why they refused? I can't even remember if I read the original report.
The thought of a troop of friendly firemen on a hot, dusty day seems to have affected my memory.
 

escargot

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#28
When I was driving home today I was thinking about firemen (let's face it, as une femme d'un certain age this is going to happen a lot!) and as I turned the corner into my street there was a fire engine across the road from my house.

Tulpa. 8)
 

zarathustraspake

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#29
stuneville said:
According to the BBC:
The firefighters are said to have taken their stance on moral grounds.
I don't have a news source for this, I have heard from someone who knows someone in Glasgow that there may be reasons other than homophobia for this dispute. Apparently there's arguments over using full-time firefighters to hand out safety leaflets at events (normally they use reservists for these kinds of things). Also there's claims that the firefighters were expected to do this during overtime.

I don't have confirmation for any of this, but it would be nice to think that it may not be homophobia. It'd restore my faith in humanity, for a start.
 

MaxMolyneux

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#30
Such a very homphobic fire brigade they have in Scotland. :roll:

The firefighters are said to have taken their stance on moral grounds.
Whats immoral about being gay? It's not going to affect them in any way. Wouldn't it be immoral to let them burn if an accident happened and people at the parade didn't have a clue what to do as well though.

When I was driving home today I was thinking about firemen (let's face it, as une femme d'un certain age this is going to happen a lot!) and as I turned the corner into my street there was a fire engine across the road from my house.

Tulpa
The last word! :shock:
 
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