St. Louis Police Sergeant Awarded Nearly $20 Million for Discrimination Based on Sexual Identity

A jury in St. Louis last week awarded a gay police sergeant nearly $20 million regarding claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation, The New York Times reports. Plaintiff Keith Wildhaber filed the complaint after he applied for a move from sergeant to lieutenant at the St. Louis County Police Department and was allegedly told he was “way too out there with his gayness” and “needed to tone it down” if he wanted the promotion. Wildhaber said that this was not the only instance of discrimination, claiming he was turned down for 23 promotions over the course of five and a half years. The jury foreman said of the judgment: “We wanted to send a message…If you discriminate, you are going to pay a big price.”

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