Andre Cooley, a corrections officer in Mississippi's Forrest County, who was fired after supervisors discovered he is gay, will be reinstated as part of a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU last October, the Hattiesburg American reports:
As part of the settlement agreement reached today, the sheriff’s department will also update its written non-discrimination policy to make explicit that the sheriff’s department does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
“I am looking forward to returning to a job that I loved in the sheriff’s department,” Cooley said. “I’m very happy that the sheriff’s department has clarified in writing that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Everyone should be judged by their ability to do the job, not by their sexual orientation.”
“We are happy to have Mr. Cooley return to work in the department. His sexual orientation has no bearing on his ability to perform the duties of a corrections officer,” said Sheriff Billy McGee. “The Forrest County Sheriff’s Department is an equal opportunity employer, and we do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Our new written policy will make this position clear to every employee in our department.”
The settlement includes a monetary element as well, which has not been disclosed.
Watch an ACLU interview with Cooley conducted last October, AFTER THE JUMP…