From the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:
The Sunrise Police Department on Thursday began investigating misconduct allegations against officers accused of ridiculing volunteers collecting signatures for a petition to prohibit same-sex marriage.
The volunteers were collecting signatures for the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment during a Promise Keepers convention at the Bank Atlantic Center on Saturday.
The complaint says the officers threatened them with arrest. The officers removed the petitions from a table at the conference, and two male officers “mocked the volunteers by appearing to kiss each other,” according to the complaint.
A photograph of an officer kissing another on the cheek was posted on the organization’s Web site.
The group accused one of the officers of berating John Stemberger, an Orlando lawyer who heads the Family Policy Council, with “abusive … remarks,” according to the complaint.
“I felt like I was talking to a guy on the street who was just a hothead and disagreed with what we were doing,” Stemberger said by phone Thursday. “He wanted to talk about theology … I kept pressing him on our legal authority” to be there.
Stemberger said he mailed the complaint to the police department on Wednesday.
The cops — even though they were off-duty — were wrong to harrass the petitioners, if that’s what they did.
But it’s a little ironic for a group of people to complain about their rights being violated when they were collecting signatures for a law that would deprive gay people of their rights.