by Paul Bowers
Crystal Moore, the lesbian police chief of Latta, S.C., who made national headlines this spring after the mayor fired her and the town hired her back, will speak at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA). The meeting is free to attend and open to the public, and it will begin at 5:45 p.m. at the Charleston Marriott (170 Lockwood Blvd.).
In a description of the event, AFFA calls Moore an "unexpected" activist. The City Paper spent some time in Latta this April, and that descriptor sounds about right. Moore had already worked at the town police department for more than 20 years when Mayor Earl Bullard took office in December, and she had never received a reprimand from a superior. But on April 15, Mayor Bullard called Moore into his office and handed her a stack of seven reprimands — an action that drew suspicion of Bullard's motives after a recording of the mayor's stance on homosexuality surfaced in the media.
"I would much rather have — and I will say this to anybody's face — I would much rather have somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children," Bullard said in the recording. "Because that ain't the damn way that it's supposed to be." Bullard repeatedly turned down requests for interviews from the City Paper.
Moore's firing made for some sensational headlines, but the real story was how the town rallied behind her. Town Council wanted to re-hire their chief, and the town voted in a referendum to change the structure of town government so that the council could override the mayor. On June 27, Town Council voted unanimously to reinstate the chief.
AFFA's meeting will take place during the Charleston Pride Festival. Check out this Wednesday's City Paper for a look at all of the other events that will take place this year — plus a map of important moments in Charleston's gay history.