Columbia SC: Everybody Doesn’t Love A (Gay) Parade?
Columbia, S.C. is a mess …
Its leaders are blowing money left and right on crony capitalist deals, while its streets have become increasingly violent. Of course there’s no doubting the city’s commitment to “inclusiveness,” as evidenced by the rainbow-colored gay pride banners that line its downtown district.
Well there was no doubting that commitment …
Earlier this month the Associated Press ran an item about city of Columbia police officers refusing to work a gay pride parade due to “religious objections.” The wire service didn’t release the names of the officers, but we’re told one of them is lieutenant Ron Felder.
Felder and one other officer – said to be a sergeant – went to city councilwoman Tameika Devine with their objections. Devine in turn went to city manager Teresa Wilson – who told them they didn’t have to work the parade if they didn’t want to.
Wait … what?
Last time we checked, law enforcement was a core function of government – vitally necessary for the protection of individual liberty and private property. Also, the last time we checked sworn officers – whose training, salaries, equipment and benefits are subsidized by taxpayers – had an obligation to protect all citizens (hence the term “equal protection”).
Seriously … cops don’t get to pick and choose their assignments on the basis of whether they like the sexual orientation of the people they are protecting.
Or the skin color …
Or any other determining factor …
We have no problem with police departments making internal staffing decisions that are sensitive to the beliefs of law enforcement personnel – but for two cops to flaunt their superior’s orders and refuse to work an event is totally unacceptable.
The job of these officers is to protect and serve – not complain and moralize.
And while we respect their right to religious liberty in virtually every other instance, that right does not extend to behavior which could conceivably jeopardize another’s right to life.