California lifeguard files lawsuit over being forced to display Pride flag

The firefighter says in the lawsuit that he has been subject to harassment and death threats.

A Christian lifeguard in California has filed a lawsuit against his local fire department, claiming that he faced the threat of termination for refusing to display a Pride flag at his workplace. 

The incident unfolded following a resolution by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors mandating the ‘Progress Pride Flag’ display at all county-operated facilities during June.


Driving the news: Captain Jeffrey Little sought a religious exemption from the mandatory flag display, which the county initially approved but later rescinded within two days. 

  • This reversal prompted alleged harassment from the fire department, which reportedly dismissed Little’s religious beliefs, emphasizing his county employee status as paramount.
  • Little says he faced departmental harassment, including remarks diminishing the significance of his religious beliefs and the unauthorized disclosure of his exemption request. 
  • The breach of confidentiality led to Little receiving death threats, exacerbating the distress caused by the workplace controversy, he claims. 

What we’re watching: The lawsuit seeks damages, a temporary restraining order, and an injunction safeguarding Little’s right to religious freedom. 

What they’re saying: “Captain Jeffrey Little is an upstanding American, a devout Christian father, and a public servant who has honorably served the Los Angeles County Fire Department for over 22 years,” Little’s attorney said in a statement. “He courageously stood on principle and asked for a simple religious accommodation – which he is rightfully and legally due – only to be first denied, then threatened, harassed, discriminated and retaliated against for his widely shared Christian religious beliefs.”

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