Gay Former California Highway Patrol Officer Suing for 20 Years of Discrimination: WATCH

Former California Highway Patrol officer Jay Brome is suing his former employer for discrimination he experienced over a period of 20 years with the force.

The Sacramento Bee reports: ‘When his classmates [at the CHP academy] and co-workers discovered Brome was gay, he was subjected to two decades worth of discrimination, abuse and ridicule, he says. “There was bullying or name-calling – ‘fag,’ ‘gay,’’ Brome said. “I had an instructor that told me … to take my skirt off and start acting like a man.” The lawsuit states the abuse began at the academy in West Sacramento — he says that during an exercise a cadet pointed a training gun at his head and said, “I know you’re gay, tell me you’re gay or I’ll pull the trigger” — and followed him through his 20-year career, including during a stint at the CHP’s Contra Costa office that began in 2008. Eventually, Brome retired, saying it became apparent that gay men in the CHP were routinely targeted for abuse and given no support from supervisors.’

Wrote Brome’s attorney Gay Grunfeld, in the brief: ‘The harassment began during Officer Brome’s academy training, where he faced homophobic slurs and physical threats, and followed him from assignment to assignment — from the CHP’s San Francisco area office, where his career began in 1996, to the CHP’s area offices in Contra Costa and Solano, where he worked from 2008 until the psychological toll of the CHP’s hostile work environment became so intolerable that his doctor ordered him to take medical stress leave on Jan. 15, 2015.’

Read the full report HERE.

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Gay man sues California Highway Patrol for two decades of abuse and harassment

Jay Brome, a former California Highway Patrol officer, is now suing

A gay man is suing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for decades of abuse, harassment, and discrimination while on the job.

Jay Brome dreamt of working for the CHP, a law enforcement agency in the Golden State with jurisdiction of all of California’s highways.

He spent two years working on getting into the academy. When he finally did, he ended up patrolling the Contra Costa County in 2008, but not without costs to himself, his reputation, and his dignity.

Attorney Gay Grunfeld filed a 55-page brief on 29 November in the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco on behalf of Brome. The brief argues a jury should hear Brome’s case.

Last March, a judge dismissed Brome’s previous lawsuit on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. Now he’s trying again, with Grunfeld arguing the dismissal was an error.

‘The harassment began during Officer Brome’s academy training,’ Grunfeld wrote in the brief. When his career officially began in 1996, it continued for over two decades.

The humiliation and abuse he suffered

‘There was bullying or name-calling – “fag”, “gay”,’ Brome recalled to the Sacramento Bee about his time spent in the academy. ‘I had an instructor that told me … to take my skirt off and start acting like a man.’

During one exercise, Brome alleged that a fellow cadet pulled a gun on him. Then the other man reportedly stated: ‘I know you’re gay, tell me you’re gay or I’ll pull the trigger.’

Brome said he had to leave the job, after giving decades of service, due to the effect the harassment had on him.

‘What was happening was I would drive around in my patrol car and for no reason I would just be crying, tears just running down my face,’ he revealed.

‘I was getting these urges to kill myself, and it was this sudden urge while I was driving my patrol car and it just said, “Pull out your gun and shoot yourself.”‘

He added he had no backup or support within the agency.

Not an isolated feeling

Despite no one stepping up for him, Brome wasn’t the only CHP officer to experience such treatment.

Another employee, Ken Stanley, served for 30 years and then sued. He was targeted for being perceived as gay.

‘I’m straight, I’m not gay. But some of the other sergeants I worked with didn’t like me, so they took it upon themselves to portray me as gay by posting pictures in the sergeant’s office,’ he said.

In one instance he said he found a bloody tampon in front of his office door.

‘It’s your typical macho environment (where) to other less-educated individuals in the workforce there can be no greater insult according to them than portraying somebody as gay,’ he added before comparing the CHP to the Catholic Church, in that they ‘deny everything’.

Four fellow officers provided documents supporting Brome’s lawsuit.

One wrote: ‘I observed plenty of homophobic behavior towards and about gay men at the CHP, including myself.’

The response

The CHP did not respond directly to Brome’s case. In a statement by spokesperson Fran Clader, however, they said this:

‘It is the policy of the CHP to provide equal employment opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (includes sexual harassment, and gender identity), physical or mental disability, political affiliation/opinion, marital status, sexual orientation, or medical condition. Equal opportunity in employment practices will be made on the basis of merit, efficiency, and fitness consistent with state civil service and merit system principles.’

This is the latest lawsuit in the US over LGBTI discrimination in the workplace.

Last month, a firefighter sued the city of Norfolk, Virginia.

H/t: Mercury News

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Trump nominates new attorney general who discriminates against people with HIV

William Barr, former and potentially new Attorney General

Donald Trump on Friday (7 December) nominated William Barr as the new Attorney General of the United States.

Trump had to nominate a new AG after Jeff Sessions resigned a month ago at the ‘request’ of the president. During Sessions’ time as AG, he implemented numerous policies harmful to the LGBTI community.

If the Senate approves Barr’s nomination and confirms him, the community may continue to suffer.

Barr previously served as the US Attorney General under the late President George H.W. Bush.

Barr on the issues

On numerous issues, Barr takes a more conservative approach.

He has specifically advocated for discriminatory policies against people living with HIV.

In 1991, he successfully challenged the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule allowing people with HIV/AIDS into the US. He also wanted to use Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and other refugees living with HIV from claiming asylum in the country.

On the topic of abortion, which does not apply only to cisgender and straight women, Barr said he believes the right to privacy does not extend to abortion in his first confirmation hearing.

Further, Barr also believes in a broad definition of presidential power.

What are the reactions to Barr’s nomination?

ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir said of the choice: ‘William Barr’s record suggests that he will follow Jeff Sessions’ legacy of hostility to civil rights and civil liberties.

‘If confirmed, Trump will have a partner in one of the most powerful roles of the administration, and someone who defended the president’s decision to fire James Comey.’

David Stacy, the Director of Government Affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, also expressed worry over the nominee.

‘From his views around HIV/AIDS during his tenure as attorney general to his more recent writing promoting extreme views around religious exemptions, William Barr looks ill suited to be our country’s top law enforcement officer,’ he said.

‘The Senate has a solemn responsibility to advise and consent on this important nomination and his troubling views on LGBTQ equality and the law must be thoroughly vetted.’

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