Aspiring Cop Says NYPD Can’t Reject Him for Hating Gays

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  Members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) take part in a promotion ceremony attended by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at Police Headquarters on January 27, 2012 in New York City. Kelly appeared in the film "The Third Jihad" Muslim groups are asking him to step down, saying that the film they depicts Islam and its followers in a bad light. The film was shown to hundreds and maybe thousands of NYPD officers for training purposes. Commissioner Kelly refused to answer questions relating to rape allegations involving his son, TV host Greg Kelly.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images2012 Getty Images

The NYPD has been caught up in the always-uncomfortable debate over religious freedom versus anti-discrimination policies. A Muslim-American man identified as "Farhan Doe" has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the NYPD after he was rejected from the Police Academy simply because he answered "yes" to the question, “Do you believe that homosexuals should be locked up?” on his 2009 application. Doe softened his views a bit in his next application, saying that he believes homosexuality is a sin, but could refrain from incarcerating gays.

Doe's lawyer argues that according to the First Amendment, "you can’t discriminate against someone because they have a view you do not like." He says the NYPD should have let him enter the Academy, then booted him if he started harassing homosexuals on the job — because there's certainly no potential for lawsuits in that scenario.