Police lieutenant suspended for calling same-sex marriage ‘debauchery’

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A police lieutenant in the US state of California has been placed on leave for writing a letter calling same-sex marriage “blatant debauchery”.

Earlier this month the US Supreme Court issued a ruling which stated that all couples, straight or gay, have a constitutional right to marriage.

Expressing his disbelief, Stockton Police Lieutenant Toby Will wrote a letter titled “Marriage ruling shuns God,” which was published in the Stockton Review.

The letter, which referred to the ruling as “blatant debauchery”, was picked up by local media, prompting a police spokesman to distance the force from Lieutenant Will’s words.

Spokesman Joe Silva said Lieutenant Will “does not speak for the Police Department, and regarding his use of his police position, it is under administrative review.”

Speaking to NBC, Silva said the Lieutenant had been placed on administrative leave on 13 July, pending the outcome of the review.

Police chief Eric Jones told NBC that while the lieutenant is on leave, the investigation will focus on whether he intentionally misrepresented the department “because of the indication that it may have purported that it was the statement of the police department.”

The editor of the Stockton Record has defended printing the letter, and has since supported the paper’s printing of several letters from readers, some supporting the opinion, and some opposed to it.