US: Lesbian police chief set to be reinstated after dismissal by ‘homophobic’ mayor

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A lesbian police chief purportedly fired for her sexuality looks set to be reinstated, after residents in Latta, South Carolina, voted to shift powers away from its mayor, who has been accused of homophobia, to its town council.

Chief of Police Crystal Moore was fired by Mayor Earl Bullard in April. A phone recording from the time captured a homophobic tirade from the mayor, in which he said he would rather have an alcoholic look after his child than “somebody whose lifestyle is questionable”.

Locals protested at the time that her dismissal after 20 years of service was unfair and driven by personal motivations.

In response to the mayor’s behaviour, residents have held a referendum, the unofficial results of which were announced Tuesday evening, to move executive powers away from the mayor, thereby giving the town council the ability to reinstate Moore to her position.

The ballots will not be certified until Friday, but Latta residents are already celebrating the vote as a victory, and looking forward to having Moore back as Chief of Police.

Councilwoman Lutherine Williams told the Morning News that the mayor’s refusal to compromise had led to the referendum: “We’d have never had any reason to even ask for the referendum, but he’s impossible. Everything with him is dictatorship. It’s his way or no way.”

She added, “Every council member supports Crystal 100 percent. If we could put her back to work tonight, we would, but we’ll have to wait until the vote’s certified.”

Moore is now “ready to go back to work”, and said: “Words cannot describe how I feel. I am so excited. The town came out and spoke up for what was right, not just for me, but for the whole town.”