- June 25, 2014
Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern.
In an amazing turn of events, it looks like openly lesbian police chief Crystal Moore will be reinstated in her town of Latta, South Carolina. The town passed a referendum Tuesday to change the town structure from “mayor-strong” to “council-strong”, allowing the town council to rehire Moore and strip Bullard of some of his powers.
Earlier this year, Latta mayor Earl Bullard fired Moore after giving her seven reprimands in one day after a clean, 20-year record. Residents believe that Bullard fired Moore due to her sexual orientation, especially after going on a homophobic rant on a telephone call saying he would rather have an alcoholic raise his kids than a same-sex couple.
While the ballots still have to be certified on Friday, the council plans on rehiring Moore as its first order of business. Even though Latta only has 1,400 residents, hundreds of them mobilized to reinstate Moore after her friend Wil Brown launched a campaign to get her job back, including an online fundraising site.
This victory in South Carolina shows the ability of local residents to mobilize and combat workplace discrimination. However, lesbian, gay and bisexual employees are still not protected against discrimination in 29 states, including South Carolina.