Gay officer sues township

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A gay police officer who’s colleague outed him to the rest of his force is pursuing legal action against his department.

In 2001 Michael J. Kurz, 34, who worked at the Washington Township Police Department confided in a co worker that he was gay, his secret was then exposed to the rest of his colleagues.

He told the Philadelphia Inquirer that felt humiliated at work with taunts from officers saying his patrol car steering wheel would be stickey and crude insults during briefings. He filed a complaint for sexual harassment and a Superior Court lawsuit claiming that the township allowed a hostile workplace.

“I am not doing this for the money, but for the principle,” Mr Kurz said, “There are other officers out there like me, and if they see someone else who has come out and who is courageous, they may also come out or feel better about themselves. We are just like everybody else – we’re human.”

The lawsuit says there is “rampant homophobia in the law enforcement community,” which makes it difficult for officers to be openly gay. The township denies the charges.