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South Carolina town becomes national, international focal point for argument over anti-lgbt discrimination

By: Monday April 21, 2014 6:11 pm

Crystal Moore

No doubt you all have heard of the HUGE controversy coming out of Latta, SC last week regarding the firing of  its first female police chief, Crystal Moore. Let’s recap:

From WBTW News 13:

The Mayor of the Town Of Latta fired the town’s Police Chief on Tuesday.

Latta town councilman Jared Taylor told us the mayor fired Crystal Moore because she received 7 reprimands. News13 was there as Moore, the first female chief of Latta, packed her belongings and left her office late Tuesday afternoon.

One Council Member told News13 that the seven reprimands Moore received on Tuesday from the mayor were the first reprimands Moore ever received on the job — and that’s after working for the police department in Latta for more than 20 years.

Moore has received a lot of support from residents. The mayor, Earl Bullard, on the other hand, has received much criticism. Several council members said that in firing Moore, he did not follow proper protocol. Some questioned why he gave Moore all seven reprimands in one day and one council member called several of them “questionable.”

And others have said that Bullard fired Moore because she is openly gay. In fact, an audio of a phone conversation obtained by the network seems to give that argument lots of credibility. The mayor’s comments are absolutely appalling (to hear the audio of Bullard’s comments, go here):

 

Transcript:

“I would much rather have.. and I will say this to anybody’s face… somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children. Because that ain’t the damn way it’s supposed to be. You know.. you got people out there — I’m telling you buddy — I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don’t say anything because that is the way they want to live, but I am not going to let my child be around. ” I’m not going to let 2 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 2 men neither.” I’m not going to do it. Because that ain’t the way the world works. ” Now, all these people showering down and saying ‘Oh it’s a different lifestyle they can have it.’ Ok, fine and dandy, but I don’t have to look at it and I don’t want my child around it.”

To say that those comments initiated a firestorm would be a serious understatement.  The backlash was incredible. Folks in Latta rallied on Moore’s side while various national and international media, including MSNBC, and the Huffington Post covered the story.

The statewide group for lgbt equality, SC Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign both weighed in on the issue, saying that it proves the lgbts need anti-discrimination job protection.

There has been much speculation that aside from homophobia, Moore was fired because she did her job too well.

From the Rob Groce of the Charleston Democrat Examiner:

Latta, S.C., Police Chief Crystal Moore was released by Mayor Earl Bullard on April 15, and for at least one of two questionable reasons. First, she questioned a recent hire of the new mayor; second, Moore is openly gay, and to Bullard’s open discontent.

Moore recently investigated the town’s new Parks and Recreation Dept. director Vontray Sellers, hired by Bullard in February, and after local news reported that same month that Sellers was driving a town vehicle despite having a suspended driver’s license.

In her research, Moore learned that recent charges against 24-year-old Sellers, whose job includes direct interaction with children, also included assault of a correction facility employee. Bullard didn’t conduct a background check on Sellers, Moore also learned. The mayor, who first took office in January, refused to answer questions from both media and the public about the hire. On Tuesday, Bullard fired Moore after issuing seven reprimands all pertaining to her investigation.

Whatever the case may be, this controversy is a long way from being over. On Monday Bullard claimed that he did not fire Moore because she is gay. In the same interview, however, he refuses to state the reason for her firing.

Meanwhile, Moore has continued to receive much support from Latta citizens and the town council.

 

How Matt Barber’s anti-gay BarbWire is proving the case for lgbt equality, acceptance

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 7:39 am

Barber

It’s safe to say that  Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has been partly supplanted as our resident go-to anti-gay activist when we want to dispel the anti-gay right’s claim that they don’t hate the lgbt community and their homophobic actions are the result of  “concern and love.”

Granted, we can always count on Fischer to say something outrageous which moves the needle forward towards lgbt equality. But if we want maximum jet propulsion, let’s point to Matt Barber and his publication, BarbWire.

Barber, who no doubt considers himself as Barbara Streisand of the anti-gay industry in that he writes columns, is a dean at the extremely conservative Liberty Counsel university,  and published one ridiculous book on his anti-gay activism, seems to have outdone himself with the founding of online publication, Barbwire.

According to Barber, he began the publication – which speaks in extreme terms against the lgbt community – because supposedly he is at “war with Satan.” Based upon the articles published by BarbWire, Barber seems to really believe this junk:

I personally say Barber is half baked and three fries short of a Happy Meal. Others may call him a genius because there is a segment of the population which eats up BarbWire‘s intense homophobia like pigs at a trough.

Whatever the case may be, I appreciate Barber’s oblivious candor.

Those who call Barber a genius for exploiting the ignorance of a segment of the population forget that when some people carry themselves like pigs at a trough, there is always another segment – usually larger than the former – who get quite disgusted at what they see.

In other words, in a backdrop of a world where we are seeing more acceptance (not enough, mind you) of lgbt people and families and a basic understanding of our issues because we are becoming more out and vocal , the last thing the anti-gay right needs is hyperbolic screechings of “Nazis” and “Satan.” This screeching only serves to prove our point that those who oppose our equality aren’t operating from a religious point-of-view, but one of hatred and fear.

Of course, I doubt that any of this will register to Barber and his minions at BarbWire. Therefore, like Crash Test Dummies, they will continue to bang into the wall of homophobia; a wall they freely created.

Have fun guys. I will be around to point out your ignorance and hatred every time you bang into that wall.

Hat tip to Right Wing Watch for its information on BarbWire.

For SC State Senator Mike Fair, it’s all about ‘gay sex’

By: Wednesday April 9, 2014 10:46 pm

SC Sen. Mike Fair

A situation involving South Carolina legislators’ attack on two state colleges over lgbt issues has just gone nationwide.

And it doesn’t bode well for the state.

Originally, the controversy was about the SC State House taking away $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The amount adds up to the how much the two colleges spent on the gay-themed books which they assigned students. The legislators claimed that the books, Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio doesn’t represent SC community value and were pornographic.

But now the situation is centering around a now canceled lecture at the University of South Carolina Upstate.  The lecture titled, “How to be a lesbian in 10 days or less” is a satirical and comedic one-woman show by Leigh Hendrix which dealt with coming out.

However, lawmakers raised a fuss about the lecture, claiming that it was “recruiting” students to be gay.  One lawmaker in particular, Sen. Mike Fair of Greenville, had this to say:

“That’s not an explanation of ‘I was born this way.’  It’s recruiting.”

So now, thanks to Sen. Fair, various nationwide media have picked up the story and few, including the Huffington Post, are tongue-in-cheek with their coverage. The majority of them are focusing on the ridiculous notion that a lecture could actually make someone gay.

And Sen. Fair, not unlike the main character in the fable The Mischievous Dog, continues to publicly comment about the lecture and homosexuality, totally oblivious as to how ridiculous South Carolina looks every time he opens his mouth.

Recently, he was interviewed by a local independent newspaper, The Free Times. During the interview, Sen. Fair had some very interesting things to say about lgbt South Carolinians:

Fair — a staunch religious conservative who believes homosexuality is morally wrong — says that while Americans have inalienable rights, glorifying homosexuality at taxpayers’ expense is not one of them. When Free Times pointed out that homosexuals pay taxes, too, as do the families of gay college students, Fair suggested they are also lawbreakers. He pointed to an antiquated state law against “the abominable act of buggery.” While the law is not enforced and homosexuality is not exactly illegal, Fair admits, he says it is still immoral and unhealthy.

SC lawmaker accuses college of ‘recruiting’ students to be gay

By: Monday April 7, 2014 9:08 pm

The controversy over South Carolina colleges, gay issues, and the ire of state legislators at colleges for even talking about gays issues show no sign of slowing down. Earlier this year the House took away $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The amount adds up to the [...]

Are SC legislators harming state universities on behalf of anti-gay groups?

By: Monday March 31, 2014 8:04 am

“Based upon emails, blog posts, and statements from conservative figures in the state, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that a plan to attack the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina-Upstate via the legislature was in the works ever since last year after a failed attempt to generate an outcry over [...]

How to spend over $4 million fighting marriage equality, lose, and humiliate yourself in the process

By: Monday March 24, 2014 8:26 pm

University of Texas (Austin)  professor Mark Regnerus and all of the other so-called experts called by the state of Michigan to defend its ban on marriage equality was humiliated during the judicial overturning of that law but I wouldn’t worry about their feelings. As it turns out, they were all well compensated. According to LGBTQNation: [...]

Judge hands lgbt community a HUGE victory on marriage and against junk science

By: Monday March 24, 2014 8:04 am

In striking down the Michigan law against marriage equality, US District Judge Bernard Freeman actually handed the lgbt community two victories. First, from ABC News: Michigan’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge said Friday as he struck down a law that was widely embraced by voters a decade ago — the latest [...]

Franklin Graham supports Russian anti-gay persecution, disgraces his father and his religion

By: Monday March 17, 2014 9:06 pm

It is commonly believed that in the early days of the Christian church, followers of Jesus dealt with harsh persecution. The tales of Romans falsely labeling the Holy Communion as “cannibalism,” and Christians being thrown to the lions while Roman citizens cheered have entered the canon of legends and we don’t know truth from apocryphal tale. [...]

Family Research Council, ‘anal sex’ obsessed community leader attacks SPLC workshop in Hawaii

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 6:53 pm

The Family Research Council is attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center again. Ever since SPLC named FRC as an anti-gay hate group for consistenly and deliberately launching inaccurate attacks against the lgbt community, FRC has been taking potshots at the organization. From accusing the group of attempting to taint the military against Christians to falsely linking [...]

Anti-gay groups and their supporters have a disturbing history of distorting scientific research

By: Monday March 10, 2014 6:55 pm

This so-called culture war over lgbt equality is so immersed in the religious angle and the “personal story” angle that there is scarcely attention paid to how anti-gay groups make attempts at either distorting scientific research or relying on junk science in order to denigrate the lgbt community. An incident – reported recently by Science [...]

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