What’s a guy like you to do?
Well, if you’re Latta Mayor Earl Bullard, you fire her. And you say it’s not because she’s a lesbian, it’s because all of a sudden, after 20 years with no official reprimands for misconduct, she just all of a sudden starts to be bad at her job and so you have to give her seven reprimands so that she knows who’s boss.
And since Bullard is the mayor of a tiny town in South Carolina, the whole town rallied around him and sang, “Ding dong the dyke is dead!” while skipping through the town square, right?
Nope. It turns out that plenty of people in Latta liked their police chief very much and they are none too happy about Crystal Moore’s firing.
And major bummer for Chief Moore: She has no legal recourse if she was fired for being gay. That’s a totally legal thing. There’s no federal law and there’s no state law in South Carolina (or in 28 other states) that protects gays and lesbians from employment discrimination.
A little phone conversation that a councilmember recorded with Bullard sheds some light on why he might have found Chief Moore unfit for duty.
“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,” Bullard said, according to transcripts of the call.
I think it’s worth noting that in Bullard’s worldview, being a drunk is not a “lifestyle” that is “questionable around children.” And just what could he mean by “lifestyle”?
“I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it,” he continued. “And I’m not going to see them do it with two men neither.”
OK. His syntax makes his meaning a little unclear. But it appears that Bullard doesn’t want his kids to be aware that women hold hands and that women apparently have to ask him to “let them” hold hands to begin with. Bullard also doesn’t want to see those women “do it” with men. Huh. I don’t think he understands how this whole lesbian thing works.
“Now, all these people showering down and saying, ‘Oh it’s a different lifestyle they can have it,’” Bullard continued, “OK, fine and dandy, but I don’t have to look at it and I don’t want my child around it.”
You hear that? If you’re a homo, you can “have” your “lifestyle” so long as you remain invisible to Bullard and his child.
Speaks volumes for why he fired the most visible lesbian in Latta, doesn’t it?
Also, when Bullard refers to “all these people showering down,” it is not clear whom he is speaking of, but it is quite possible that it’s raining men in Latta. Hallelujah. Maybe they can make a good one their mayor.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.