The tiny town of Latta, South Carolina has been making headlines this week after the mayor fired the town's popular police chief, Crystal Moore, in spite of her exemplary 20-year record of service. Moore and many others in the town strongly believe that Mayor Earl Bullard, who took office in December, fired her because she's a lesbian: he's an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights, he was caught on tape delivering a vile anti-gay rant, and one city council member claims Bullard openly discussed his intention to fire Moore before he even took office.
But while Moore's firing is undoubtedly disgusting, it's also perfectly legal, because South Carolina law does not protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And neither does federal law -- even though nearly three out of every four Americans support employment protections for LGBT people, and almost 90% erroneously believe such protections already exist.
In the absence of federal nondiscrimination legislation, it remains totally legal to fire someone like Crystal Moore -- just for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual -- in a staggering 29 states (see the graphic below). If you're trans, that number rises to 33.
It's time to end this injustice. President Obama must immediately sign an executive order banning federal contractors from engaging in workplace discrimination against LGBT people, and Congress needs to pass a religious exemption-free Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
In the meantime, share this post and spread the word about the injustice of anti-LGBT employment discrimination. No one should be fired because of who they are or who they love.
Graphic via MSNBC.