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Last Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
March snub hearing for fire crew
Gay pride march
The march took place in Glasgow in June
Four firefighters have appeared before a disciplinary hearing over their refusal to hand out leaflets at a gay pride march in Glasgow.

Another five men, who are also based at the city's Cowcaddens fire station, had their cases considered last month.

All nine will be given a written decision later in the week.

Some of the men were opposed to attending the event on religious grounds while others did not think it was part of their core duties.

However, gay rights campaigners argue that firefighters are public servants who cannot be seen to discriminate.

The firefighters were reported by superior officers after the Pride Scotia march in June for disobeying orders.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said it would take senior officers several days before deciding what action to take.

'No good reason'

Both the officers' employers and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have declined to comment on the matter until the investigation is complete.

Before last month's proceedings began, FBU Scotland chairman Roddy Robertson admitted it was a "highly controversial issue".

Scottish National Party MSP Fergus Ewing branded the decision to discipline the group as "unbelievable", claiming they were entitled to their private views.

However, gay rights campaign group Stonewall Scotland backed the disciplinary proceedings.

Its director Calum Irving said: "A modern fire service does a lot of community safety and trying to reach as many different parts as they can.

"Firefighters visit church groups and other community groups.

"There's no good reason why they should not have been engaged with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, which a number of fire services across Scotland are doing very well."


SEE ALSO
Firefighters face discipline case
26 Jul 06 |  Glasgow and West
Crew reported over gay pride snub
18 Jul 06 |  Glasgow and West
Thousands attend gay pride march
24 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West

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