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Police academy applicant who calls gays 'criminals' sues

June 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM

NEW YORK, June 12 (UPI) -- A Pakistani Muslim who was denied admission to the New York police academy after saying homosexuals are "criminals" has sued the city police department.

The 23-year-old applicant, who was not identified in court papers, said in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court the department violated his constitutional right to religious freedom by asking his view on homosexuality, the New York Daily News reported.

Jerold Levine, the applicant's lawyer, said in a 2009 written application, the Brooklyn man had answered "yes" to the question: "Should homosexuals be locked up?"

In a follow-up interview, the News said, the applicant told a police department psychologist homosexuality is "against his religion" and "homosexuals are criminals."

Department officials said the "bias" could have "significant disruptive consequences" for dealing with homosexuals on the street and in the department, court papers show.

For those reasons and based on his work and academic record, the applicant was rejected twice, the News said.

The applicant, an auxiliary police officer, wants the police department to reconsider him.

A department spokesman declined to comment on the suit, the News said.

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