A landmark discrimination case has been won by four police officers who filed suit against The New South Wales police force (NSW) in Australia. In their complaint against the department, the officers claim their employer harassed them and subjected them to a seemingly random internal drug investigation, one based on the stereotype of gays using party drugs such as meth and ecstasy. For the record, yes, meth is pervasive in segments of the gay community, but it is also globally used – and rampantly used by heterosexuals.
In totality, the officers claim that the Newton South Wales police station subjected them to a culture of ridicule and rampant homophobia. They also accuse the station’s Commander, Simon Hardman (no jokes please on that last name), of making a false morality judgment against them by claiming the four cops were notorious for their promiscuity – another gay stereotype.
As reported by ABC TV,
“The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) ruled Christopher Sheehy, Steven Rapisarda, Shane Housego, and Christian McDonald were “presumed to be engaged in drug use because of their homosexuality.”
The men claim the 2015 investigation stemmed from a “homophobic culture” fostered by senior management, including Commander Simon Hardman, at Newtown Police Station in Sydney’s inner-west.”
According to the four officers, their plight stems from an incident that occurred with a fifth incident officer who “returned a positive result for ecstasy and speed from a hair sample in 2015,” according to the ABC news report. By association, and without any merit, Hardman accused the four officers of similar drug use just because they were friends with that officer.
Ultimately, in a landmark decision, a tribunal found that the police station was not the culprit as an organization but that Mr. Hardman as one of its officiators, “was motivated, consciously or unconsciously, to make complaints … by reason of their homosexuality”.
Lawyer for the vindicated officers released a statement,
“Our clients are overwhelmed and vindicated by today’s decision and will now be seeking compensation for their significant financial and emotional damages.”
Hats off to these officers for their bravery. Now let’s hope these boys in blue get the green to which they are so deservedly entitled.