The former Latta, S.C. police chief claimed that she was fired last week because she is gay, according to the Associated Press.
“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,” former police chief Crystal Moore told WBTW News on Thursday.
Latta Mayor Earl Bullard disputes Moore’s claim, but would not say why he fired her. Moore was let go last week after receiving seven reprimands, her first reprimands in over 20 years with the police department, according to WBTW News.
Town residents and some members of the town council have rallied around Moore. At a town council meeting Thursday, council members voted to weaken Mayor Bullard’s power, according to WBTW.
WBTW News published an audio recording in which Bullard can be heard making homophobic remarks. The mayor says that he would rather leave his children with an alcoholic than with someone whose “lifestyle is questionable.”
“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,” Bullard says in the recording. “I’m not going to do it. Because that ain’t the way the world works.”
In a statement to the AP, Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality, condemned Bullard’s comments and called for reform.
“Mayor Bullard’s comments are hurtful to the thousands of gay and transgender people who call South Carolina home, including those living in Latta,” he said. “Many people in South Carolina are surprised to learn that our laws do not protect gay and transgender South Carolinians from unfair treatment and discrimination at work. This situation unfolding in Latta and others like it give us clear examples of why we need to update our state’s Human Affairs law.”
Image via WBTW News