Cop who objected to riding in gay pride says he was unfairly branded a ‘bigot’

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Moutsos’ life changed dramatically in the days leading up to last summer’s gay pride parade. He had been talking with his bosses about resolving his objections while still helping out during the parade when he was informed that he was being put on leave for discrimination – a move that shocked him.

The story became public after police issued a news release saying an unnamed officer had been put on leave for refusing the gay pride parade assignment. The department said it does not tolerate bias and bigotry, and it does not allow personal beliefs to enter into whether an officer will accept an assignment.

Burbank said it is inappropriate for Moutsos to come out now with his story. Moutsos forfeited his right to defend himself during a police internal investigation when he resigned before they ever talked with him, Burbank said.

Moutsos, a married father of four, said he has gay friends and family and has no problem with 95 percent of their life choices. He said he is offended by the notion that he would treat gays and lesbians differently as an officer.

Moutsos has since found work with another police agency in the state. But he said the last six months were difficult and depressing for him and his family.

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His attorney, Bret Rawson, said they have not made a decision about a possible lawsuit over the handling of the situation.

Moutsos acknowledged that he could have been more diplomatic in his conversations with superiors. But he doesn’t regret asserting his beliefs.

“I used to be quite the hellion back in my day, and I found what I believe is God kind of later in my life,” Moutsos said. “Now, I have such a strong, deep faith in Him . . . He and I love people, but I do not advocate certain things in people’s lives. In this parade, there were messages that I don’t advocate.”

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