A St. Louis County police sergeant who is suing for employment discrimination testified Tuesday that he was told to “tone down his gayness” to secure a promotion to lieutenant.

Keith Wildhaber filed his lawsuit in 2017 after he was passed over for the promotion.

During his trial, Wildhaber testified that former St. Louis County Police Board of Commissioners member John Saracino advised him in 2014 to tone down his “gayness” to secure a promotion, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The remark made Wildhaber feel like he had “been punched in the gut,” he said.

Wildhaber's attorney told the jury that after his client came out, he hit a “glass ceiling.”

County Counselor Mike Hughes said that sexual orientation was not a factor in the decision not to promote Wildhaber.