I have been blogging for three years and this site is intended to expose homophobia whenever it raises its ugly head. This story does not happen in Nigeria, Uganda or Saudi Arabia (well, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t allow a female to be a firefighter, BUT if that did happen, she’d be so over-dressed as to be a hassle to herself climbing up and down ladders and definitely would not be allowed to carry a male over her shoulder LOL). On a serious note, again, this happened in Rhode Island, U.S.A – the home of the “free” and the home of the brave! Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing brave about harrassing a woman and abusing a lesbian!
Here’s the Story.
A former Rhode Island firefighter who claimed that colleagues discriminated against her because of her sexual orientation and gender was awarded more than $800,000 in federal court Monday.
Lori Franchina filed a civil-rights lawsuit four years ago in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island against the City of Providence and the local firefighters’ union. Franchina is a lesbian, the lawsuit states, and “her male colleagues subjected her to such intense, constant, and prolific mistreatment that she eventually was left in multiple situations in which her safety was compromised.”
The lawsuit describes Franchina suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the harassment.
She claimed that her multiple complaints to superiors and her union prompted “swift and severe retaliation,” even as she rose to the rank of lieutenant.
“They chose not to protect her,” Franchina’s lawyer, John T. Martin, told the jury, the Providence Journal reported. “If those rules don’t protect Lori, they don’t protect anybody.”
During the trial, officials representing the city said Franchina didn’t file a complaint with its Equal Employment Opportunity officer and that she had a reputation for being difficult to work with, the Associated Press reported.
Franchina, now retired, began working for the fire department in 2002. She claimed problems began for her in 2005, when the acting lieutenant at the time gave her the nickname “Frangina,” an allusion to female genitalia.
Her lawsuit describes numerous embarrassing — and dangerous — incidents, including firefighters publicly displaying a list of things they didn’t like about her, not helping her when responding to medical emergencies, and insubordination.
The lawsuit describes one male firefighter declaring “normally, I don’t like working with women” and saying: “Are you a lesbian, or are you just doing everybody?”
According to the lawsuit, he also told her, “I’m a lesbian, we like the same thing.” During their last shift together, he pinched his nipple and loudly yelled “my lesbian lover.”
Conclusion: So, the taxpayers of the State of Rhode Island are paying for male homophobia! I would like to know what disciplinary actions were taken against the offending males. paula.