Bullard, who took office Jan. 1, denies dismissing Moore because of her sexual orientation. But the popular former police chief and many others in Latta believe otherwise, especially given Bullard’s view of gay people. “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,” the mayor said in a phone conversation with Councilman Jared Taylor, who made an audio recording of the call. “I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And I’m not going to see them do it with two men, neither.”
Obama has hemmed and hawed over signing an executive order that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. This wouldn’t have saved Moore’s job; for that we would need the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect all workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The administration is solidly behind ENDA, but it has been stalled on Capitol Hill for nearly 20 years. A presidential order, by contrast, would immediately protect up to 600,000 people working for federal contractors, according to a 2012 study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. That would be the right thing to do — and a step in the right direction. There would be, as Vice President Joe Biden told the Huffington Post last week, “no downside.”
Obama is moving forward energetically — and alone — on many other fronts. He has funneled money to priorities such as manufacturing, apprenticeships and wired schools. He has tightened gun regulations, cut emissions, launched an overhaul of overtime rules, changed criteria for deportations, extended and postponed deadlines under the Affordable Care Act, created a new type of retirement savings account and decreed a minimum-wage hike for employees of federal contractors.
Last month Obama signed two executive orders promoting fair pay for women who work for federal contractors. And in what could be a historic move, the administration is soliciting clemency applications from thousands of drug offenders who would no longer be in prison if they had been sentenced under laws and guidelines adopted since 2010.