RI Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Gay Pride Parade Suit

The Rhode Island Supreme Court heard the appeal of the City of Providence today in the decade long lawsuit arising out of the 2001 Gay Pride Parade. Two Providence firefighters who were ordered to participate in the parade the filed suit in 2004 claiming a violation of their First Amendment Rights and that during the course of the parade they were sexually harassed.

The trial court denied the city’s request for summary judgment and the case is now before the RI Supreme Court. The firefighters are hoping the Supreme Court will allow them to present their case to a jury.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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