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South Carolina Town Where Lesbian Police Chief Was Fired, Rehired Adds LGBT Job Protections: VIDEO

Moore.Crystal

It's not often we get to say this, but it's a great week to be gay in the Palmetto State. 

Not only is South Carolina's LGBT community celebrating the arrival of marriage equality, but WBTW Channel 13 reports that the town of Latta — where lesbian police Chief Crystal Moore (above) was fired, then rehired in April — has added LGBT job protections for its workers. 

The new policies, which prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, are a direct response to the controversy over Moore, who claimed she was fired by Mayor Earl Bullard for being gay.

Bullard issued Moore seven reprimands in one day, the first in her 20-plus year career. But he denied he fired her for being gay, even though Councilman Jared Taylor provided a recording to a TV station in which Bullard said he'd rather have an alcoholic take care of his kids than a gay person with a “questionable” lifestyle. 

The town's residents and council members rallied to Moore's defense, with voters quickly approving a measure weakening the mayor's powers. When Bulllard tried to hire someone to replace Moore, the council blocked him and rehired her instead. 

The new nondiscrimination policies were actually approved last month, and Latta becomes the smallest city in South Carolina with LGBT job protections, joining Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston and Richland County, according to WBTW. 

Councilman Taylor, who leaked the recording of Bullard, said the policies wouldn't have passed if it weren't for the town's support for Moore: 

“We don't care what you are or what you believe in,” Taylor said. “If you get the job done, you're adequate at your job and you excel at your job, we feel like you should have an opportunity to work and live in our community.” ... 

“Our community rallied around the individual for who she was instead of what she was." 

Of course, there still are no federal or state job protetions for LGBT workers in South Carolina, which Moore called "crazy." 

“As long as I do my job and it doesn't interfere, my personal life should be just that: My personal life,” Moore said. “The town passing an ordinance is just one step to making sure everyone is equal." 

The nondiscrimination policies passed 6-0, but shockingly, Mayor Bullard was not present to vote on them. Maybe he couldn't find a baby-sitter. 

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

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International Olympic Committee Proposes End To Anti-Gay Discrimination - READ

Sochi

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a proposal to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination language in Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, reports The Advocate.

The IOC received criticism from LGBT advocacy groups for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, given the country’s national law against “gay propaganda”. During the the games, the IOC appeared to defend the arrests and beating of LGBT activists.

Principle 6 currently states:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Supporting the proposal, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:

“No athlete or fan should face fear of discrimination because of who they love. The International Olympic Committee must seize this opportunity to protect Olympic attendees and affirm its commitment to equality across the globe.”

The IOC will vote on this and 39 other proposed amendments in December.

Read the full report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jamaican Gay Rights Activists Suspect Prominent Newspaper Of Drumming Up Anti-Gay Sentiment

2000px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svgWith a push for gay rights in Jamaica from government, activist groups and allies, others in the country are doubling down in their anti-gay views. The appalling conditions faced by gays in Jamaica has been well-documented, and VICE has a new story that raises further concern for the situation in the island nation.

The concern comes via The Jamaica Observer, a daily newspaper that has been publishing articles Jamaican activists are calling homophobic.

Though the Observer claims to uphold balanced journalism, a recent article in the paper tells the story of a male jogger gang-raped by homosexuals, but it is unsourced. Also troubling is an anti-gay editorial called  "The pushback against gays has begun," and an article that points to "gun-toting gays" as threatening Jamaican communities. (The sub headline reads "Homo Thugs!")

The Jamaica Observer is owned by Gordon "Butch" Stewart, the owner of Sandals Resorts, which did not allow gay couples until 2004. However, the paper says that the ownership of the Observer does not have influence over what is printed in its pages.

Carolyn Gomes, executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, spoke to VICE about the concerns of anti-gay rhetoric, saying:

It has happened at both national newspapers over the years though this year the rhetoric was particularly loaded and hostile to homosexuals, especially in The Jamaica Observer but [another paper,] The Gleaner was also guilty.


Kansas City Homeless Shelter Refuses To House Married Same-Sex Couples Together

CityUnionMission

A Kansas City homeless shelter says it won't house same-sex couples together even if they're legally married in the state of Missouri.

The 90-year-old City Union Mission, in the heart of downtown Kansas City, provides shelter to up to 550 people every night, including families and children.

Dan Doty, City Union Mission's executive director, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter's board has had discussions about housing same-sex couples together over the years but has decided to "stay true to our biblical convictions."

Doty“I knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question,” Doty said, deeply concerned about what effect the nonprofit’s decision could have on its broad community support and donations. “I truly hope you understand the can of worms this could open.

“…We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards. Our view is that it (same-sex marriage) is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

The article explains that because City Union Mission is a religiously affiliated organization that receives no government funding, it is not bound by nondiscrimination laws. Doty said City Union Mission will house gays and lesbians individually, but requires transgender people to dress according to their birth sex when they're in the facility.

Same-sex couples who want to be housed together will be referred to other facilities. Representatives from local Salvation Army and Catholic Charities shelters told The Star they will house married same-sex couples together, while another shelter in Topeka said it's still undecided on the issue.

In related news, KSHB Channel 4 reported last week that City Union Mission is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and is banking on a generous holiday giving season to make up for the deficit. 

But after Sunday's story in The Star about City Union Mission's decision not to house same-sex couples together, the shelter probably shouldn't count on getting much help from the LGBT community or its supporters. 

"So, you discriminate against gays now," Chris Jozwiak wrote on the shelter's Facebook page. "Sounds fine. You'll be doing so without support of my friends and family moving forward. And I'll make sure and pass on the news as often and loudly as possible so others join me. Jesus didn't stop and question people about who they loved before he helped them. You're apparently not worthy."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3971676.html#storylink=cthat because

Meet Cathi Herrod, Arizona's Leading Anti-gay, Pro-Discrimination Bigot: VIDEO

Heerrod

Earlier this month, NBC's Phoenix affiliate Channel 12 News had a "heart to heart" with one of Arizona's leading anti-LGBT culture warriors - Cathy Herrod, the president of the Center for Arizona Policy.

Herrod, who was the architect behind Arizona's proposed license-to-discriminate bill that made headlines earlier this year, spoke at length about her anti-gay, pro-discrimination policy positions - all while keeping a softspoken, almost "grandmotherly" demeanor....which somehow makes her even more of a creep than she already is.  

Listen to her spout b.s. about the "social science" on gay relationships:

The social science data shows that marriage between a man and a woman is still the best family unit for men, women and children. This is never aimed at any individual, but it's aimed at what's the best public policy. 

And why she thinks its a-okay for religious folks to turn away LGBT customers:

HerrodShould the photographer or the baker be able to have the freedom to practice their religious beliefs in their businesses and not be compelled by the government to participate, for example, in a same-sex wedding ceremony that goes against their conscious? This is people of faith and no faith and that's not trying to shove religion down someone's throad, its simply saying 'Let me live my life according to my faith'"

Watch the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

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Florida DMV Threatens To Revoke Gay Couple's Driver Licenses If They Don't Change Names - VIDEO

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The state of Florida is threatening to revoke a same-sex couple's driver licenses because they obtained them using an out-of-state marriage certificate.

Daniel [left] and Scott Wall-Desousa, of Palm Bay, Florida, have been together for 10 years and were married in New York City. 

Earlier this year, both men attempted to get their hyphenated, married name — which appears on their Social Security cards — on their Florida driver licenses.

Daniel Wall-Desousa had no trouble, but Scott was rejected at a different DMV office — based on Florida's constitutional amendment prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriages from out of state, according to a report from WFTV Channel 9.

After an extended back-and-forth with state officials, Scott went to a different DMV office and was able to obtain a license with his married name. The couple then appeared on WFTV, which reported they were one of the first couples in Florida to change their name thorugh an out-of-state same-sex marriage.

However, state officials apparently took notice, and within days of the report airing, the Wall-Desousas received a letter saying their driver licenses will be revoked unless they obtain new ones in their previous names, WFTV reports.

"It informs me and notifies me that my driving privileges will be canceled indefinitely as of Nov. 22," Daniel Wall-Desousa said of the letter.

The couple now says they intend to file a lawsuit. Several state and federal judges in Florida have struck down the state's marriage amendment as unconsitutinal, but those decisions have been stayed pending appeals by Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In Texas earlier this year, a woman was similarly denied a driver license when she tried to obtain one using an out-of-state same-sex marriage certificate. But the woman, Connie Wilson, was later able to obatin a license with her married name using a US passport. 

No word on whether Texas plans to try to revoke Wilson's license.

Watch WFTV's initial report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Florida DMV Threatens To Revoke Gay Couple's Driver Licenses If They Don't Change Names - VIDEO " »


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