Michael Kurz, a police officer in Washington Township, NJ, has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the township. According to a report in the Courier-Post (Tuesday, November 22, 2005), Officer Kurz confided in another police officer about being gay, Cpl. Frank Gurcsik, whom Kurz thought was a friend and confidant, about five years ago. By the end of that week, "The entire department knew..."Kurz stated. That "friend" quickly outed Kurz over some drinks with fellow officers at a restaurant. Then, the officers threw homophobic insults and slurs at Kurz. The last straw was when Kurz learned that during a discussion about emergency lights on civilian cars, another officer asked, "Are homosexual cops going to be allowed to have rainbow light bars?" Kurz, sick of the harrassment, went to his superiors. But nothing has been done, with an internal investigation taking seven months. Now, attorney Clifford Van Syoc of Cherry Hill, NJ, has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Washington Township.
One might ask, "What's the big deal? Kurz was not physically assaulted or disciplined or fired?" But I ask, "Is this something Kurz, or any other gay person, should put up with?" If officers asked a fellow African-American officer if he needed spear holders in his cruiser, that officer would be filing a civil rights lawsuit, and rightfully so. Damn! THIS IS 2005! And this shit still happens. And it involves people who are supposed to be professionals! These officers are supposedly trained in sensitivity to people with different backgrounds, and they cannot even live peacefully with a fellow member with a difference! And shame on Officer Gurcsik! Such a traitor, and some might say, a "woman." Breach of confidence and gossip!
I will personally be writing to Washington Township to tell them they have wronged Officer Kurz. I wish I could somehow get a personal message to Officer Kurz to tell him I support him and feel he should do everything possible to get what he deserves for being mistreated. Join me if you can. (The mayor of Washington Township can be e-mailed at: http://twp.washington.nj.us/content/89/546.aspx).