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Corrections department folds, will allow gay officer to march in pride parade

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just hours after a gay correctional officer in Southern California announced he would take legal action for being prohibited from marching in uniform in a gay pride parade, the Department of Corrections reversed its decision, reported TMZ.

Responding to a complaint from Andrew Johnson, a corrections officer at the California Institution for Women in Chino, and his attorney Gloria Allred, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, stating that going forward, corrections officers will be allowed to march in uniform at pride events.


Andrew Johnson (Left) and Gloria Allred

CDCR did not intend to offend any segment of the population with its recent refusal to allow a correctional officer from participating in a Gay Pride Parade while wearing the department!s official uniform. The decision was made solely on an interpretation of an admittedly ambiguous section of the Department Operation Manual (DOM) as it relates to unauthorized use of the CDCR uniform.

Upon review, CDCR acknowledges that the DOM is outdated and requires careful revision. Therefore, Correctional Officer Andrew Johnson will be allowed to wear the CDCR uniform in the upcoming Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles on June 12, 2011. CDCR
apologizes to Officer Johnson and any Californian who may have been offended by the original decision.

Johnson, a member of the Gay Peace Officers Association, had asked his superiors at the Department of Corrections for permission to march in uniform at West Hollywood’s pride event 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.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, Allred said that other law enforcement agencies — including the Los Angeles Police Department, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol — allow officers to march in uniform in the parade.

Allred told reporters she had filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation.

She pointed out that Department of Corrections allows officers to march in uniform in other parades, including the annual Carrot Festival.

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Filed under: California

8 more reader comments:

  1. finally

    Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:04pm
  2. I am wondering why this even was an issue in the first place. People care about the strangest things.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:05pm
  3. Good! I’m happy for him!

    Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:06pm
  4. For years now I’ve been seeing, here in Montreal, police officers, firemen, soldiers, name ‘em, proudly wearing their uniforms while politicians, even Prime Ministers and mayors, sitting in convertibles in the middle of the parade, had grins wide enough to split their faces, showing their pride to take part in our society based on diversities of races, cultures, religions or absence of one, genders, gender identities and sexual orientation. We are part of that diversity, and our representatives, along with the people who protect us all, take time off their busy schedule to acknowledge and advocate this pride of being one big society. It should be the same everywhere.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:34pm
  5. It is 2011 time to END HATE and Greed ..

    Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:40pm
  6. This is great, I sign every petition,I join every cause,Could I please get some help winning me a Getin the Kitchen,Bitchs cookbook from that page,Please go and like my Aint Cletas teriyaki Cock and Doodle Casserole entry. I need about 10 people to knock it out of the park. Please.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 12:19am
  7. not going to do that anyway. HATE is still anywhere and forever!. just miserable people who is still the HATER.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 2:53am
  8. Good for them!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 12:45pm