Gay Cop Told to ‘Tone Down His Gayness’ to Get a Promotion

Gay Cop Told to ‘Tone Down His Gayness’ to Get a Promotion

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Sgt. Keith Wildhaber, a gay cop in St. Louis with 22 years of experience on the force, is suing the department for anti-gay discrimination. He claims a member of the police board told him that if he wanted to get promoted, he’d have to “tone down” his “gayness.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that during a routine check of a restaurant in 2014, Wildhaber visited with its owner, who was a member of the department’s civilian police board at the time.

That restaurant owner allegedly told Wildhaber, “The command staff has a problem with your sexuality. If you ever want to see a white shirt [i.e. get a promotion], you should tone down your gayness.”

Of course, the restaurant owner has now said, “I never had a conversation like that. I would never say anything like that. That’s not me.”

Wildhaber was repeatedly passed up for promotions despite having excellent performance reviews. He won a medal of valor in 1998 for saving someone from a burning car.


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