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South Carolina Police Chief Crystal Moore, Fired For Being Lesbian, Reinstated By Town Vote

Crystal moore police chief fired for being gay

Residents of Latta, South Carolina, yesterday voted to reinstate police chief Crystal Moore, who was fired by Latta mayor Earl Bullard in April for reasons that many residents claim had to do with her sexuality.

Today however, Bullard installed a new police chief in defiance of the voters' decision. 

Bullard caused controversy last month when after seven reprimands he fired Moore, alleging that she failed to maintain order. The mayor also questioned Moore’s authority. Moore maintained that she had not failed in her duties and that the reprimands were the first she had received in her 23 year career.

Bullard's decision to remove Moore from her position came as a council member released a recorded phone call in which the mayor said that he would prefer to leave his children with an alcoholic over someone whose "lifestyle is questionable."

According to Ryan Wilson, the director of South Carolina Equality, it’s clear from the recording “that the mayor has some very anti-LGBT or anti-gay feelings. I think the mayor owes an apology to the thousands of South Carolinians who are gay and transgender, particularly the ones who live in the town of Latta.”

A town grievance committee reviewed the evidence last week but found no conclusion could be reached regarding Bullard’s decision.

Crystal moore facebook pageHowever, hundreds of the town’s 1,400 residents vocally supported Moore and a website was set up to help her with living expenses and potential legal costs.

On Monday, Moore wrote on Facebook: “Remember to VOTE, June 24th in Latta, across from Town Hall 7am-7pm. Please vote “Yes”. I am so ready to go back to work to serve and protect our town. This "Yes" vote means I will be back."

Despite today's actions by Bullard, the vote will be certified this Friday, changing the town’s government structure from “mayor-strong” to “council-strong”, at which point the council will assume all hiring and firing capacity. 

The Council has already indicated that it intends to rehire Moore.



Thursday Speed Read: NOM and Oregon, Idaho Stay, Arkansas, Lorri Jean, South Carolina, Give Out Day

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McshaneJUDGE SAYS NO TO NOM:

U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane yesterday denied the National Organization for Marriage motion to serve as intervenor to defend Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. McShane, who is openly gay, held a hearing on two consolidated lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the ban. Because the state attorney general said her office could not vouch for the ban’s constitutionality, no one argued in its defense. McShane is expected to issue his decision on that issue soon and, if he finds it unconstitutional, same-sex couples may be able to obtain marriage licenses right away. NOM has said it will appeal McShane’s ruling on the intervenor motion to the Ninth Circuit.

Flag_idahoIDAHO RUSHES TO APPEAL FOR STAY:

Idaho Governor Butch Otter is also on his way to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Otter is appealing the decision Wednesday by Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale to deny his request that she stay her decision striking the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Dale’s ruling on the ban, issued Tuesday, will go into effect Friday morning unless Otter is able to secure a stay from the federal appeals court.

Arkansas_supremeARKANSAS COMPLICATIONS:

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition from the state’s attorney general for an emergency stay of a county circuit judge’s May 9 ruling that two state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The high court said that, for procedural reasons, the supreme court does not yet have jurisdiction. Responding to the attorney general’s argument that county clerks around the state are uncertain as to whether they should issues licenses or wait for the results of an appeal, the supreme court noted that Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling said nothing about a separate Arkansas law “and its prohibitions against circuit and county clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses.” Jack Wagoner, an attorney for the 12 plaintiff couples, told the Arkansas Times he’d be in court today to “fix” the problem. “How can you find something unconstitutional,” said Wagoner, “but not affect a statute that would require the clerks to do something unconstitutional?”

JeanANOTHER VOICE ON ENDA FRAILTY:

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Executive Director Lorri Jean, speaking to “An Evening with Women” event on Saturday, had this to say about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “Religious freedom does not include the freedom to oppress other people. These kinds of fundamentalist forces are behind efforts to gut what laws we do have in this country that protect LGBT people from discrimination….Even our own Employment Non-Discrimination Act—the only federal law currently being proposed to protect LGBT people—includes a broad religious exemption. It was put into ENDA eight years ago, expressly to weaken it. It does not belong there today.” Former NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman said Monday he thinks LGBT leaders should “pull the plug” on the current version of ENDA, saying it is “essentially a lifeless corpse.”

SouthcarolinaSOUTH CAROLINA SENATE RESTORES FUNDS:

The South Carolina Senate on Wednesday approved a state budget Tuesday that restores the $70,000 cut from the funding for two public universities over their use of books with positive depictions of gay people. But according to the State newspaper, the senate stipulated that the restored funds should be used to teach the constitution and other founding documents.

A DAY TO GIVE “OUT” TO LGBT COMMUNITY:

Today is “Give Out Day,” an event scheduled to encourage supporters of LGBT organizations to donate to them. Last year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the event raised over $600,000, from 5,474 individuals in support of over 400 nonprofits groups across the country.
© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


GOP Candidate Ray Moore Warns Of 'Holocaust' From Teaching Evolution & Homosexuality: AUDIO

Ray Moore

South Carolina GOP lieutenant governor candidate Ray Moore is shoring up his conservative bona fides by claiming that schools are pushing a "silent holocaust" against churches and Christianity by teaching evolution and protecting LGBT students from abuse. While speaking with conservative talk show host Steve Deace, Moore said,

80 percent of Southern Baptists youths are leaving the church and abandoning the Christian faith, and we think all of this is pretty much attributable to government schooling. We think the main culprit is public schooling. So there’s a holocaust, a silent holocaust going on in our evangelical churches.

And thus was Godwin's Law invoked and Moore immediately lost the argument. Undeterred by the utter insanity of comparing dropping attendance rates in churches to the wholesale slaughter of almost 6 million Jews in one of the greatest ethnic cleansing movements of the 20th century, Moore continued by comparing gay marriage to a virus:

[S]o why is same-sex marriage and abortion and all of these viruses latching on to our society so readily? And we think part of it is government-sponsored education where they’re thoroughly and aggressively teaching socialism, humanism; turning their hearts away from Christ.

You can listen to Moore's interview below.


Wednesday Speed Read: South Carolina, Gay Books, Maura Healey, Carl DeMaio, Barney Frank, Chad Griffin

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

CoursonS.C. BUDGET CUTS GET SECOND LOOK:

A South Carolina senate subcommittee recommended a budget that leaves out the House-passed cuts to public colleges using gay books. The chair of the subcommittee, Senator John Courson, told Associated Press he thinks books “should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects.” The decision by Courson, a Republican, bucks the Republican-led House plan to cut $70,000 from the budgets of two state universities because they used gay positive books in their curricula. According to an Associated Press report Sunday, the Senate Finance Committee could begin debating the budget this week.

AN ENDORSEMENT RUSH:

HealeyOpenly lesbian Massachusetts attorney general candidate Maura Healey racked up a string of endorsements recently from women’s PACS: EMILY’s List, Women’s Campaign Fund, Feminist Majority, and Barbara Lee. The Women’s Campaign Fund named Healey one of their 40 “Game Changers,” for whom they promise to raise $40,000. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal called Healey a “trailblazer for women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights.” Emily’s List has endorsed Healey, as well as her former boss Martha Coakley for governor. Healey needs the support: As of April 17, Healey had $363,644 in her campaign coffers compared to her Democratic primary opponent’s $602,400.

CARL DEMAIO ON LGBT INTOLERANCE:

DemaioRealClearPolitics.com quoted openly gay Republican U.S. House candidate Carl DeMaio about how he’s been received by opposite ends of the political spectrum: "I've found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I'm a Republican who happens to be gay...versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican."

FRANK’S BURNING MEMORIES:

A just previewed documentary about the life of former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank includes a story about Frank receiving a letter from one of his former roommates at Harvard in which the roommate told Frank he was gay and had a crush on Frank. According to the Boston Globe, Frank was not openly gay at the time and feared that being so would hurt his political career. He burned the letter and gave the roommate no indication he was gay, too.

GRIFFIN ECHOES ‘ONE CHAPTER’:

GriffinNew York Times reporter Jo Becker has defended criticism of her book about “inside the fight for marriage equality” (Forcing the Spring) by saying it’s about “one chapter” of that decades-long battle. Her chapter is the Proposition 8 litigation organized by Chad Griffin and his American Foundation for Equal Rights, which included lead attorney Ted Olson. Griffin was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show Tuesday morning and was immediately tackled with a question about all the criticism Becker’s received for focusing her book squarely on Griffin as a sort of “Rosa Parks” for marriage equality. Griffin has issued statements vigorously acknowledging that he is not the lone hero of the marriage equality movement. He did so again on Morning Joe. Interestingly, his questioner was an old comrade from AFER –Nicole Wallace. Wallace served as a spokesperson for AFER when Griffin was in charge and she’s also worked for the Human Rights Campaign, which Griffin leads now. “What was so interesting to me,” said Wallace, talking to Griffin, “was to see how raw nerves were within the movement –that there were activists who were so offended by the attention paid to what I think a lot of people on the outside thought was a very important chapter.”

Watch the Morning Joe segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

Continue reading "Wednesday Speed Read: South Carolina, Gay Books, Maura Healey, Carl DeMaio, Barney Frank, Chad Griffin" »


Proposed Financial Punishment of South Carolina Colleges For Assigning Gay Books May Die In Senate

Early last month, South Carolina Republican lawmakers in the House voted to slash about $70,000 in funding to the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg because the schools assigned LGBT-themed books to incoming freshmen.

SmithBut it looks like the House’s proposal may die in the state Senate. The State reports:

The debate could come up in Senate Finance Committee, which will work this week to complete its budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But the subcommittee that writes the budget for public colleges didn't include the cuts in its recommendations. That panel's chairman, Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, made clear he believes the Legislature shouldn't micromanage universities' curriculum.

"I think that should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects," said Courson, R-Columbia…

"This whole issue is pretty baffling to me that we're talking about something like this in the year 2014," said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, noting the students are adults…

Rep. Garry Smith (pictured), who proposed the cuts, argues that freedom comes with responsibility, and the colleges were neither responsible nor responsive to legislators who approve their budgets. The Legislature sets policy, and the budget should be "reflective of the values and mindset of the citizens of the state," said Smith, R-Simpsonville.

Someone might want to tell Representative Smith that “the values and mindset of the citizens of the state” are gradually creeping towards acceptance of gay and lesbian citizens.


South Carolina Town Takes Action in Defense of Fired Lesbian Police Chief: VIDEO

3_moore

Last week, we reported the developing story on the controversial firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore of Latta, South Carolina. Moore says she was fired by Mayor Earl Bullard because of her sexual orientation, a claim backed up by a leaked audio recording of Bullard saying he’d rather have an alcoholic be responsible for his kids than a gay person with a “questionable” lifestyle.

The city council, which has been looking into the issue, is now taking action in defense of Moore.

Think Progress reports:

First, the Latta Town Council voted unanimously (6-0) on an emergency ordinance that blocks Bullard from replacing Moore for about two months. During that time, the town will have a chance to vote on a referendum adjusting the basic governing structure to grant more power to the council and less to the mayor. If that adjustment is made, council members say they will vote to rehire Moore.

In a separate symbolic vote, the council voted 6-0 to support Moore for her 20 years of service to the town.

Earlier this week, Moore also appeared on MSNBC to discuss her situation. You can watch the interview AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "South Carolina Town Takes Action in Defense of Fired Lesbian Police Chief: VIDEO" »


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