South Carolina town rallies to block mayor's firing of lesbian police chief

Crystal Moore was fired from her job this week as the police chief for Latta S.C. Considering a 20-year career with the department along with a perfect record, Crystal along with many others in the town believe the town's new mayor fired her simply because she is a lesbian. Many from the small South Carolina town rallied around her in support. Crystal’s community of less than 1,500 people, including fellow officers, has stood behind her and is demanding she get her position back. And just this morning the Town Council voted unanimously to block Mayor Earl Bullard’s firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore.

"I have always worked. That's all I want to do is get back to work, support myself and work for my community," Moore said. "Here I am now, I have no income. I've never been in this predicament. One hundred percent of my life has been for my career. And here I am, struggling because one person does not like me personally. He snatched it away." A request for comment from Bullard's office was not returned.

Dozens of people have picketed outside town hall and held prayer vigils. Kids she met while patrolling at a school have told her they support her. Members of the town council voted to take action to go around Mayor Earl Bullard and try to reinstate her job. Her former team of officers calls her every day to lend their support. And teachers, preachers and counselors in town have all approached her to tell her she deserves her job back and that her sexual orientation should have nothing to do with her job. Despite feeling "crushed" when hearing the recording of Bullard's anti-gay comments, Moore said one of the most heartening aspects of the ordeal is that people from all over the country have been leaving supportive messages on her Facebook page. Some have shared stories about being discriminated against at work for being gay and lamented that they didn't have the courage to fight to get their jobs back.

Crystal Moore’s firing is not an isolated occurrence. LGBT people are fired from jobs far too often simply because they are LGBT. A person’s character and job performance should be the deciding factor in the firing or hiring of an employee, not their sexuality. Crystal would not have been fired because she was a lesbian if the United States would pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). ENDA would protect people from being fired simply because they are LGBT. Currently it is legal in 29 states to fire someone just because they happen to be LGBT. This hurts families. 

The Huffington Post has the full story.

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GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism