Eric Moutsos, the former Salt Lake city
policeman who objected to riding in a motorcycle at the head of Gay
Pride parade, says he has many LGBT friends.
The 33-year-old devout Mormon and
father of four objected to being assigned as an escort in the front
of last year's parade. After being placed on leave over the
incident, Moutsos quit the department.
“I love gay people,” Moutsos told
Angeles Times. “I love them like I love humanity. I just
did not agree with some of the messages in that parade.”
He told the paper that he's
contemplating a lawsuit against the department, claiming that his
religious liberties were violated.
Moutsos said that his superiors refused
his request not to head the parade.
“It is unquestionably my duty as a
police officer to protect everyone's right to hold a parade or other
event, but is it also my duty to celebrate everyone's parade?” he
rhetorically asked in a six-page public statement last week.
Karen McCreary, executive director of
the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told
the Times that government officials must serve the public,
regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“As a government official, you need
to serve everyone; you can't use your personal beliefs as a way to
pick and choose,” she said.