Fire department captain sues over mandatory 'Pride' celebration

 June 8, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

June has been designated by those promoting that LGBT alternative lifestyle choices as "Pride" month.

They have various events, celebrations, festivities and the like.

And according to a new lawsuit, they actually force people to participate in their agenda.

A report from Liberty Counsel explains it is Capt. Jeffery Little, a Christian and lifeguard, who has sued the Los Angeles County Fire Department for its illegal religious discrimination, retaliation and harassment.

Department officials were provoked by Little's decision to decline on religious grounds to raise a "Progress Pride Flag" at his beachside station last year during the designated "Pride" month.

"Little, a 22-year county employee, alleges the Los Angeles County Fire Department denied his religious accommodation request, belittled his religious beliefs, punished him, and threatened him with 'suspension and/or discharge' from service for not complying with a county mandate to fly the flag during the month of June 2023," the legal team explained.

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said, "Religious beliefs matter. The Los Angeles County Fire Department makes a mockery of both the law and religion by blatantly infringing on Captain Jeffery Little’s sincerely held beliefs. There is no compelling government interest in this case to force someone to raise an ideologically divisive flag. People do not have to choose between their faith or their job."

The case is being handled for Little by the Thomas More Society, with help from Liberty Counsel.

The problem stems from a 2023 resolution from the county's supervisors that demanded county locations fly the "Pride" flag which contains a rainbow of colors.

According to his recently filed complaint, Little follows "traditional Christian beliefs regarding the moral illicitness of same-sex activity, the immutability of sex regardless of gender identity, and the view that all people are children of God regardless of their skin color."

He had requested a religious exemption so he would not have to personally raise the flag, because it represents an ideology in direct conflict with his faith.

The response was a refusal and orders to raise the flag. His division chief told him his beliefs "do not matter."

Then followed retaliation by other fire department officials who confronted him, removed him from some assignments, targeted him with pretextual complaints and talked about his religious objections to third parties.

That led to a death threat being sent to his home, the report said.

For the same mandate this year, his exemption request has been ignored.

The Thomas More Society alleges the fire county’s actions "were done with malice, fraud, oppression, and reckless disregard of Plaintiff Little’s rights." The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages and a permanent injunction against the Los Angeles County Fire Department to uphold Little’s protected rights.

Liberty Counsel is assisting the Thomas More Society to make religious accommodation resources available to several thousand Los Angeles County firefighters.

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