A Roman Catholic archbishop has given his support to nine firefighters disciplined for refusing to hand out leaflets during a gay rights march.
All the firefighters have to undergo 'diversity training'
They will go on "diversity training" courses after refusing to hand out leaflets at the Pride Scotia event which took place in June.
Glasgow Archbishop Mario Conti said they "had legitimate concerns about being the subject of taunts and jokes".
He said in some cases their religious sensibilities would have been offended.
Archbishop Conti said: "We have followed this case with concern. "There was no question of these officers' competency or commitment being called into question, nor was there any suggestion that they were refusing to come to the assistance of people in danger.
'Lampooning the Church'
"They were asked, while in uniform, to hand out leaflets during a demonstration where they had legitimate concerns about being the subject of taunts and jokes, and in which in some cases, their religious sensibilities would have been grossly offended by people dressed as priests and nuns lampooning the Church."
The Fire Service said it had a responsibility towards everyone
One of the firefighters involved was demoted from a watch manager to crew manager with a £5,000 salary cut.
The remaining firefighters were given a written warning, and all would undergo diversity training, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue announced on Thursday.
Archbishop Conti said the training was "alarming".
"The duty to obey one's conscience is a higher duty than that of obeying orders," he said.
The nine firefighters are based at Cowcaddens and were asked to distribute community safety advice to people attending the Pride Scotia festival in George Square on 24 June.
A fire service spokesman earlier said the firefighters' refusal was a "fundamental breach of their core responsibilities".
"Firefighters cannot, and will not, pick and choose to whom they offer fire safety advice.
"Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has a responsibility to protect every one of the 2.3m people it serves, irrespective of race, religion or sexuality," they said.