A lawsuit by four San Diego firemen who claimed that they were forced to take part in a gay Pride parade against their will by city authorities has ended without a judgment.

The men – Alex Kane, Chad Allison, Captain Jason Hewitt and Captain John Ghiotto – said that that they suffered verbal sexual harassment at the city’s 2007 parade.

They also claimed that they were on the receiving end of teasing and jokes from colleagues for having taken part in the event.

On Monday, after four days of deliberation, the jury told the judge that it was unable to come to an agreement on the matter and the case was de_clared a mistrial.

Attorney Mike Aguirre, who represented the city, said that it was “A complete and total victory for our fire department, for the personnel in our fire department, for Tracy Jarman, our fire chief.”

The firemen’s attorney however refuted the claim, saying: “He can call it a victory… but how can it be? He didn’t get a judgment in his favour.”

San Diego’s openly lesbian fire chief, Tracy Jarman, had apologised to the men before the start of the trial and changed the department’s policy so that participation in the annual event by personnel is voluntary.

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