Christian Lifeguard Punished For Refusing to Raise Pride Flag

Captain Jeffrey Little has been a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department for more than 22 years. He served as a lifeguard captain.

In March the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution requiring all county-operated facilities to fly the progress pride flag.

Captain Little, who is a devout Christian, filed for a religious accommodation. He wanted an exemption from having to personally raise the flag.

That request was granted, but two days later the fire department rescinded the order.

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His supervising officers—particularly Little’s division and section chiefs—ordered him to raise the Progress Pride Flag. In issuing a direct order to Little on June 22, 2023, Division Chief Fernando Boiteux told him, “You are an LA County employee, that’s the only thing that matters,” and, “Your religious beliefs do not matter.”

The following day he was removed from his position.

The Thomas More Society has filed a federal lawsuit against the fire department on behalf of Captain Little. They say the fire department’s actions are not only deeply un-American, but also flagrantly illegal.

“Captain Jeffrey Little is an upstanding American, a devout Christian father, and a public servant who has honorably served the Los Angeles County Fire Department for over 22 years,” Thomas More attorney Paul Jonna told The Todd Starnes Radio Show. “He courageously stood on principle and asked for a simple religious accommodation—which he is rightfully and legally due—only to be first denied, then threatened, harassed, discriminated and retaliated against for his widely shared Christian religious beliefs.”

It’s as if the fire department has some sort of a litmus test to be employed.

“In our great country, Americans can’t even be forced to salute the American flag as a condition of government employment,” Jonna said. “Yet, in this case, the L.A. County Fire Department seeks to force Captain Little to personally raise the Progress Pride Flag in violation of his sincere and deeply held religious beliefs—or face termination.”

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“The L.A. County Fire Department’s actions are not only deeply un-American, but also flagrantly illegal. We’ve filed this federal lawsuit to vindicate Captain Little’s religious liberty rights and to firmly establish that this sort of blatant religious discrimination has no place in our public life,” the attorney added.

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