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Lifeguard sues LA County, says he was punished for refusing to fly Pride flag

via Global News
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

A Christian lifeguard in Los Angeles County filed a lawsuit against the county fire department, alleging religious discrimination and retaliation for requesting an accommodation to avoid raising the Progress Pride flag at work during Pride month due to his religious beliefs.

The lifeguard’s initial request was granted but later denied by his supervisor, who removed him from his role after he refused to raise the flag citing his faith.

“I felt like I was being targeted or entrapped by [Section] Chief [Arthur] Lester and my religious beliefs were not being taken seriously,” Captain Jeffrey Little wrote. “He did not notify me of this change and gave me no heads up that the flags would be flying.”

“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,” attorney Paul Jonna stated.

The lifeguard is seeking damages and an injunction to prevent being forced to fly the Pride flag again, arguing his requested accommodation places no burden on his employer.

“In this case it’s so easy,” Jonna said. “There are situations where accommodating a religious observer would be difficult. This is not one of them. This is the most straightforward possible accommodation request. And yet they’re just ignoring him.”

The suit is seeking “damages and injunctive relief—a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction—to protect Captain Little’s religious rights during Pride Month,” the Thomas More Society stated.

The fire department declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

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