Discrimination | News | South Carolina

South Carolina Police Chief Says Homophobic Mayor Fired Her for Being Gay: VIDEO

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The city council of Latta, South Carolina is investigating the circumstances surrounding the firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore by the town’s mayor. Moore claims she was fired because of her sexual orientation.

Mayor Earl Bullard fired Moore earlier this week after giving her seven written reprimands in one day (the first reprimands in her 20-plus years on the job).  Some elected officials and city residents, however, have rallied to Moore’s side, believing that Bullard has held a long-standing vendetta against Moore because she’s gay.

WBTW reports:

"I can't believe that we still have no equal rights. That's the biggest issue. I've been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it's been this public. I'd tried living a quiet decent life and do what I'm supposed to," Moore said.

In an audio recording provided to WBTW by city councilman Jared Taylor, Mayor bullard is heard saying he’d rather have an alcoholic be responsible for his kids than a gay person with a “questionable” lifestyle:

Bullard“I would much rather have someone who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children, because that ain’t the damn way that they’re supposed to be,” Bullard says on the call. “I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don’t say anything because that’s the way they want to live. But I’m not going to let my child be around. I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it, and I’m not going to see them do it with two men neither. I’m not going to do it, because that ain’t the way the world works.”

The city council held a special meeting Thursday and voted for a referendum to weaken the mayor’s power. City residents will now be able to vote on the measure. 

Watch WBTW's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

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Comments

  1. What a travesty. There needs to be an investigation into the practices of the mayor... Although I doubt anything like that would ever happen in South Carolina.

    Posted by: Sergio | Apr 18, 2014 8:01:34 PM


  2. Evidence is clear.

    Posted by: Andy | Apr 18, 2014 8:07:11 PM


  3. While I am totally sympathetic to her situation, and I hope that she wins a big settlement in a lawsuit, why would she want to work in South Carolina in the first place?

    Posted by: Howard B | Apr 18, 2014 8:26:21 PM


  4. Howard, it's not that easy to just up and move to another state with more securities. You get a job where you can get a job and try to make due. Seriously I don't even know why that's a question to ask, as if people wouldn't leave if they had the resources to do so.

    Posted by: Derrick | Apr 18, 2014 8:31:00 PM


  5. A lot of southerners want to be able to live in the town they grew up in, or at least nearby to be able to visit family. Maybe phones came late there.

    Posted by: steve talbert | Apr 18, 2014 9:17:22 PM


  6. It's annoying to hear people say, "well, why don't they just move?" This is America, not Russia. It's easier to stand up for yourself and make a difference here, even in more conservative states. You shouldn't have to just uproot your life and move away from friends and family and even a place you love because certain people are giving you a hard time. If all we ever did was move away then how do we ever make change possible in these homophobic places. You have to stay and fight. And it sounds like there are plenty of sympathetic people rallying around the lesbian police chief. Yes, even in South Carolina.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Apr 18, 2014 9:43:25 PM


  7. @ Howard - I left North Carolina when I was 18. I did that, because it seemed the easiest thing to do. I have a lot of respect for gay southerners who stay and fight for their rights.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 18, 2014 9:48:37 PM


  8. It seems like Mayor Bullard is trying to pull a Cracker Barrel.

    It's too bad for him that it's 2014.

    Posted by: taxpayer | Apr 18, 2014 10:00:36 PM


  9. Please help this town of 1,400 out.

    Petitioning South Carolina State Ethics Commission:

    Investigate Mayor of Latta S.C. Earl Bullard

    https://www.change.org/petitions/south-carolina-state-ethics-commission-investigate-mayor-of-latta-s-c-earl-bullard

    Posted by: Ooma | Apr 18, 2014 10:06:50 PM


  10. Please help this town of 1,400 out.

    Petitioning South Carolina State Ethics Commission:

    Investigate Mayor of Latta S.C. Earl Bullard

    https://www.change.org/petitions/south-carolina-state-ethics-commission-investigate-mayor-of-latta-s-c-earl-bullard

    Posted by: Ooma | Apr 18, 2014 10:06:54 PM


  11. As a South Carolinean, I have to say the real story here is that the city council stood up to the mayor and took actions to limit his power. Latta is a small town (Wiki says 1400 in the 2000 census) in the impoverished and under-educated "Corridor of Shame" section along I-95 in the center of the state. I'm not so surprised that the mayor said and did what he did. I am surprised and pleased that the city council stood up and rebuked the mayor so quickly.

    Posted by: PalmettoDave | Apr 19, 2014 3:14:53 AM


  12. "I’m not going to do it, because that ain’t the way the world works."

    I think that Mayor Bullard is going to discover that "the world works" (even in South Carolina!) very differently than he thinks it does.

    Posted by: JCF | Apr 19, 2014 4:46:11 AM


  13. "I’m not going to do it, because that ain’t the way the world works."

    I think that Mayor Bullard is going to discover that "the world works" (even in South Carolina!) very differently than he thinks it does.

    Posted by: JCF | Apr 19, 2014 4:46:11 AM


  14. @Howard. Why should the lesbian move and let the bigot win? The mayor could just as easily move himself to Zimbabwe or Uganda if he doesn't like the world he finds himself in. Basically you're saying that it is acceptable to let the mayor run people out of town that he doesn't like, so I guess you agree with the mayor in this case.

    Posted by: Chadd | Apr 19, 2014 7:35:57 AM


  15. I think that Howard is asking why anyone would want to stay somewhere where such attitudes are common. She's being bullied (to put it mildly) by the mayor, an elected official who represents the town and must be personally known by at least half the population. And I suspect that his views on this issue are well known.

    So the point is not that one person is a jerk, but that many people are sympathetic to his views. Life is much easier when you don't have to be constantly wondering what might happen because you're gay. Not to mention, I doubt she has tons of potential romantic partners.

    To its credit, the council showed that the city isn't a monolithic band of backward bigots. And I give her credit for being out. But I wouldn't be happy living there, and I would take no pride in protecting the pitiful. Happiness can be hard to find anywhere, so why make it even more of an uphill battle? Moving can be costly and challenging, but it's cheaper and easier than putting yourself at physical and emotional risk.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 19, 2014 8:29:54 AM


  16. They need to hold a recall. This guy obviously used his power and position for his own purpose and agenda. Seven reprimands in one day shows his intent. It is abuse of power plain and simple.

    Posted by: Jere | Apr 19, 2014 9:08:33 AM


  17. Right on, Chadd. West Africa would be a perfect place for this mayor to relocate...haters love to be around other haters and boy does this fool sound like a hater. I feel very sorry for his grandchildren growing up with this maggot for a grandfather. They deserve better....and hopefully they have exited this cesspool of hate and intolerance. Troll.

    Posted by: thom | Apr 19, 2014 10:04:44 AM


  18. ..and one more thing: Why do these haters have the same cretin looks? Just looking at his hateful face tells a huge story.

    Posted by: thom | Apr 19, 2014 10:06:59 AM


  19. “I would much rather have someone who drank and drank too much taking care of my child..."

    Something tells me those kids already spend a lot of time with a caregiver who drinks.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 19, 2014 10:13:13 AM


  20. You folks who mock gay southerners for staying in their homes need to reflect on how long the places you live have had the rights and protections that you seem to take for granted.

    Posted by: Patrick | Apr 19, 2014 10:53:18 AM


  21. Again with the misspellings. According to the facts of the story, it's obviously Dullard, not Bullard.

    Andy, you need to step it up.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Apr 19, 2014 11:09:28 AM


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