Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Sues After Compulsory Pride Display

Captain Jeffrey Little has sued the Los Angeles Fire Department after it denied his religious accommodation request to refrain from raising the “Progress Pride Flag.”

Little claims 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,” according to Liberty Counsel.

The complaint explains that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last year that required all county-operated facilities to fly the “Progress Pride Flag” throughout June.

Little, a Christian, refused to comply with the resolution due to his religious beliefs.

“When this resolution passed, Captain Little raised a simple objection: he would like another government employee to be responsible for raising the Progress Pride Flag,” the complains says.

The Los Angeles Fire Department denied his request.

A copy of Little’s initial complaint to the county is included in the lawsuit. It says that while his shift was changed to “accommodate [his] religious beliefs” and avoid the Pride flag, he was informed that flags had been dropped off and Lifeguard personnel were ordered to fly them.

“I felt like I was being targeted or entrapped by Chief Lester and my religious beliefs were not being taken seriously. He did not notify me of this change and gave me no heads up that the flags would be flying,” Little wrote, adding, “I was informed that my request had now been denied and they had changed their mind to granting me an accommodation.”

Little was also told that his religious beliefs “do not matter.”

“Captain Jeffrey Little is a devout Evangelical Christian who adheres to 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,” the lawsuit states.

The views espoused through the “Progress Pride Flag” are in “direct conflict” with Little’s “sincerely held religious beliefs,” which require him to “reject those views.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said of the case, “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 Thomas More Society is over the case, writing that the matter is “blatant religious discrimination in violation of the U.S. Constitution, as well as state and federal civil rights law.”

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