Monday, April 21, 2014

Latta mayor's exclusive interview leaves unanswered questions about Crystal Moore firing

A week after his firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore led to an onslaught of national and international
Crystal Moore
criticism, as well as a discussion on employment fairness for lgbts, Latta SC mayor Earl Bullard is finally talking about the issue.

Or rather not talking as much as some folks would like.

From News Channel 15:

Latta Mayor Earl Bullard talked exclusively with WPDE NewsChannel 15 about last week's firing of longtime police chief Crystal Moore. News of the controversial firing has been sweeping the nation after Moore said she lost her job because of her sexuality. Bullard said personnel policy won't allow him to say why Moore was let go, but says it had nothing to do with her being homosexual.

"Right now, it's a hot issue. It's getting media attention across the nation because of what they say I did. And they say I fired her because of her sexuality and nothing could be farther from the truth. If they did some real investigating they would find out that that has nothing to do with this. Nothing at all," explained Bullard.

  . . . "If Chief Crystal Moore would sign a release granting us, meaning the town, the authority to release the reasons for her dismissal, then and only then can I talk about the specifics of it. Now, if there's nothing to hide then she'll sign that release and I can talk with you openly about the reasoning."

He said he would have never fired Moore if it wasn't justified or in his authority as Mayor of Latta.

But town council members have said that Bullard was not justified. Several members contended that Bullard could not officially fire Moore without their permission.

'Franklin Graham's warped view of persecution' and other Monday afternoon news briefs

Editor's note - My apologies for the late news brief posting. I got caught in a personal emergency, WHICH is all taken care of now.

Franklin Graham
The following two news briefs prove one sad fact - Franklin Graham has a warped idea of persecution:

Franklin Graham Claims The News Media Is Persecuting Christians - Inviting Franklin Graham to spew homophobia? To him, THAT's anti-Christian persecution. 

Franklin Graham’s detestable anti-gay statements - But what Russia is doing to its lgbt citizens, i.e. creating an atmosphere of violence and unjust arrests, is NOT persecution. 

In other news:

 Boy Scouts Kick Out Entire Church For Refusing To Discriminate Against Gay Scoutmaster - You know that old saying which goes "Now I've heard everything . . ."

Illinois GOP Ousts Officials Who Opposed Former Chairman's Support Of Same-Sex Marriage - How ya like THEM apples?

 TWO’s Chicago Sun Times Op-Ed: Illinois Gets it Wrong on Gay Conversion Therapy - Illinois legislators made a huge faux pas last week.

  Destroying Every Stereotype - I LOVE this article which tells how lgbt athletes of color are coming out of the closet and doing, as the title states, destroying stereotypes.

Musical heats up controversy of lgbt issues on South Carolina college campuses

A musical of the controversial book 'Fun Home' is coming to SC

In the matter of lgbt issues, the College of Charleston is not packing down from recent controversy.

From The Huffington Post.

Students at a South Carolina public university are snapping up tickets to the musical "Fun Home" after state lawmakers approved a proposed cut in school funding over the critically acclaimed lesbian memoir on which the musical is based.

Outraged over the proposed budget cut for the College of Charleston, which was triggered by a freshman reading assignment, the cast of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated show volunteered to put on two performances of selected songs from the musical at the college without pay.

Little more than a day after the box office for both Monday performances opened, 900 of the 1,500 available tickets had been sold for $10 or $15 apiece, a spokeswoman for the liberal arts college with 11,000 undergraduate students said on Friday.

"The legislature's punishment of the college for teaching 'Fun Home' just feels ridiculous," said Alison Bechdel, whose 2006 memoir recalls growing up a lesbian with a closeted gay father in rural Pennsylvania. She will be on hand for the performances on Monday.

In March, the Republican-controlled state House voted to slash the school's budget appropriation by $52,000, the amount the college spent on its summer reading program. The program included Bechdel's book, a bestseller that was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, for incoming freshmen.

Republican Representative Garry Smith told Reuters he proposed the cut after a parent complained about the book's "graphic pictures of two females having sex" and because the college did not offer another choice for summer reading.

The school . . .  has said participating in the summer reading program was optional.

The Republican-led Senate is now considering the cut, which critics have called an assault on academic freedom.

The College of Charleston has been buzzing with talk about gay rights ever since a faculty member, in response to the proposed spending cut, reached out to the creators of the recent Off Broadway musical.

The nine-member cast, which includes the Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, offered to perform for free as educational outreach, "Fun Home" producer Barbara Whitman said.

The college has raised about $20,000 that will be used in addition to the ticket sale proceeds to cover food, lodging and travel expenses for the cast, said Todd McNerney, chairman of the college's department of theater and dance.

Also helping to fund the effort is a community foundation grant from the family of Harlan Greene, head of Special Collections at the college's library, who said the shows "will spark debate on an issue that has been bringing, frankly, all kinds of negative and hate-filled reaction."

Legislators have gotten wind of this performance and they are not happy . According to the Charleston Post&Courier:

State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, an outspoken opponent of "Fun Home" being selected for the freshman reading program, said that he has heard about the play and believes it is a direct response to the House's decision to cut funds due to the college's controversial summer reading choice.

That "protest" move is not wise, Grooms said, and he plans to bring it up as the Senate debates this year's budget.

"If lessons weren't learned over there, the Senate may speak a little bit louder than the House. There would be a number of members in the Senate that would have a great interest in fixing the deficiencies at the College of Charleston," Grooms said.

He declined to say specifically what action or cuts he had planned.

Perhaps instead of making threats Sen.Grooms and other legislators raising a fuss over Fun Home, should purchase tickets and educate themselves.