Police sergeant testifies he was told to tone down ‘gayness’

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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) – A St. Louis County police sergeant testified that he was instructed he would need to “tone down his gayness” to be promoted to lieutenant during the opening day of his employment discrimination lawsuit against the department.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Keith Wildhaber said Tuesday that former St. Louis County Police Board of Commissioners member John Saracino issued the guidance in 2014. He said the remark made him feel like he had “been punched in the gut.” Saracino has denied making the statement.

Wildhaber told the jury that he thought he would have been evaluated for the position based on his body of work, “not the fact that I was gay.” The County Counselor said the reason he wasn’t promoted had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

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