Gay police officer claims sex discrimination over dress code ban on earrings

A gay police officer claimed he was branded a “crusading faggot” in a row over wearing an earring, an employment tribunal heard.

PC Neil Bloomfield claims he was a victim of sex discrimination and argued male officers should not be prevented from wearing the jewellery if women colleagues were allowed to.

He claimed he was “singled out” and ordered to remove a stud from his left ear just because he was gay.

Other officers in Hampshire Police who were not homosexual were allowed to flout the rules, he told the tribunal in Southampton.

Bloomfield said: “I have been ‘out’ as a gay in the force for years. I wear a stud in my left ear and this for me is an indicator of my sexual orientation.

“I believe I have been singled out by the strict enforcement of the dress code against me. It is quite clear that it is not generally well enforced and that a large number of breaches are allowed to continue.”

The rules were introduced in 2004 in a drive to improve officers’ dress standards.

However, they were criticised by gay officers and the public service union Unison warned of the risk of sex discrimination claims.

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