Dallas Jail Guard Fired Over Anti-Gay Remarks

DALLAS (AP) ―

A Dallas County jail guard recently fired after allegedly making anti-gay remarks and commenting about religion has said his free speech rights have been violated but he will not seek to regain his job.

A sheriff’s department review concluded Stephen Johnson, 59, persisted in volunteering his religious opinions and speaking out against homosexuality.

Johnson, after nearly 17 years with the department, was fired Jan. 20 for conduct unbecoming an officer and for lying to internal affairs, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

Johnson in October interrupted a private conversation among jail staff and “interjected his own opinions,” telling them all gays should be annihilated, according to a sheriff’s report.

“They made it out to be that I was a bigot. I was fired ’cause I hurt someone else’s feelings,” Johnson said Monday. He said that his free speech rights were violated but that he will not appeal.

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