A lawyer for Providence, Rhode Island has argued that former city mayor Buddy Cianci did not violate the rights of firefighters ordered to drive a fire truck in a 2001 Gay Pride parade, reports StarTribune.
A lawyer for the two firefighters yesterday told the Rhode Island Supreme Court that her clients' constitutional religion and free speech rights were violated when they were ordered to take part in the parade.
Representing Cianci, Kevin McHugh, who said the case is “ridiculous,” argued that the city sent trucks to various parades as a matter of course and driving in the 2001 Gay Pride parade was part of the firefighters' regular duties.
Although the firefighters' lawyer argued that the act of participating in the parade suggested that they supported gay rights, justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg said they are “anonymous public servants” and compared Cianci’s order to being called to fight a fire in a temple or in a mosque.
Cianci, who was forced from office in 2002 following a conviction for corruption and is currently in the midst of a campaign to win back City Hall, said if elected he would likely make the same decision again.
Back in June, Brett Smiley, another candidate for the mayoral race in Providence, claimed in a campaign video that he proposed to his husband Jim DeRentis with a PowerPoint presentation.
Watch an NBC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...