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Mississippi Sheriff’s Department Fired Corrections Officer For Being Gay. And It Finds Nothing Illegal About It

Because there is no federal or state law barring the firing of gays for being gay, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi believes it’s perfectly in the clear for removing juvenile corrections officer Andre D. Cooley, who is suing the department with the ACLU’s help, saying he was ousted in June when his supervisor found out he was in a relationship with another man after a domestic violence incident drew attention. Retorts the defendants, which include Sheriff Billy McGee, in a court filing that asks for a non-jury trial: Yeah, so?

By:           JD
On:           Dec 14, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 19 Comments
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      They fired him for being gay but not over the domestic violence incident??

      Dec 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      Only in the good old south! Those Christian bigots should be real proud of themselves! They just ooze professionalism and diversity don’t they?!?! Another wonderful reason to avoid that area like the plague – Flat disgusting!

      Dec 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom in Lazybrook
      Tom in Lazybrook

      Note to the LGBT community in Hattiesburg, MS. Do not cooperate with the Forrest county Sheriff’s Department.

      If you a rape victim or a victim of domestic violence, do not call the Sheriff’s department. They aren’t there to help you.

      Dec 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @justiceontherocks: Actually, if the good folks at Queerty had taken the time to actually read the article they’re linking to, the department claims that there were reasons for his firing other than his sexuality, to include the domestic disturbance. They are just saying that, whatever their reasons, Cooley’s claim that he was fired due to his sexuality doesn’t hold legal water because even if he were right and that were the reason, that’s not even illegal in that state. Basically they want the case thrown out… and they have a good case, if you think about it. You can’t very well sue someone for doing something that state law says is legal.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 12:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IonMusic
      IonMusic

      @Kevin: Idiot! No, there’s nothing “good” about the fact that people can get fired for their sexual orientation anywhere in this country. The fact that it is legal is WHY stories like this need to be highlighted. WHY we’re up in arms. WHY there is outrage. I’m assuming you are the board troll (Daez) using a different handle when you posted that, because anyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes that exposing the vile in laws like this by way of tangible stories like this sheds light on the inequality of it. Whether it’s law or not does not make it right or good, and our argument comes from a place of exposing how utterly insane it is this can happen and does happen. Sorry we don’t all adopt your “get in the back of the line” mentality and do so like b8tches. Some of us have a spine to fight back. I can’t imagine anyone finding you appealing. Someone who has a “well, it is what it is, can’t do nothin’ bout’ it but accept it” mentality. YUCK. Whic of course, I don’t believe you do as you’ve been outted as the board troll.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 6:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michelle
      Michelle

      @Kevin:
      No one is arguing the legality of the matter, simply stating stories like this with quotes from people of authority make the real realities of conditions for gays in parts of this country extremely discriminatory. This is absolutely no different than what latinos/blacks/asians faced in this country decades ago. Not one bit of difference. You get fired for who you are, and what you do in the privacy of your own home, and it’s legal in 2010. Repeating it’s legal and accepting it, is different than acknowledging it’s legal and using incidents like this to demand why. I think for whatever reason that point was lost on you and you automatically went into -defend police department- mode.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      There is no legal recourse unless the sheriff’s office had included sexual orientation in their own non-discrimination policy which is highly unlikely.

      ENDA and other acts won’t actually help this case because it will just cause companies that want to get rid of gays to make up excuses that hold up in court (much like companies that get rid of other minorities already do).

      The easiest way to handle this is, as an employee, don’t work places where your rights are not protected. If you have to stay closeted to keep your job, its probably not a job you really want to have.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @GlacierGuy: Yes, because no one in NYC has ever been fired for being gay. No one in the north has ever been fired for being gay. No judges in Iowa were ever fired for allowing gay marriage. No governor in New Jersey was ever elected for an anti-gay platform. Need I go on? Seriously, your statement reeks of incorrectness.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @IonMusic: You should apologize to Kevin. For starters, Kevin and I are not the same person. Thank you for thinking of me though.

      Also, he NEVER said it was good. Apparently, you need to learn to read. He called the people at Queerty good and pointed out that they still don’t bother to read articles.

      Let me guess, this guy gets a pass on beating the hell out of his partner in a domestic dispute, and you are more than willing to let him go work with children anyways because he is gay. Now, if he was a straight guy beating a woman and then wanted to work with children you would be calling for his head.

      I’m actually all for ENDA and similar laws, but I’m smart enough to know that FORCING a company to allow me to work for them is a sure fire way to make sure I absolutely detest my experience working for that company. They can force a company to hire you, but they can’t force a company to treat you like a human being. Hence the reason you don’t take jobs for companies not willingly hiring you in the first place.

      It has NOTHING to do with being at the back of the line. It has everything to do with the realism that fighting to get to the front of the line only manages to piss off the entire line.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GlacierGuy
      GlacierGuy

      @Daez: I find it stunning how people reply to your post without even comprehending its content. Daez, if you read my response again, as you clearly need to, I was strictly referencing “the good old south”….no where did I make mention of Non-Southern states! I live in the south therefore I speak of the South! Your name pops up quite often and It seems all you do is critique what others say. Instead of pointing the finger, join the conversation like an adult. Leave your playground finger pointing for recess! Good grief people………….on we go!

      Dec 15, 2010 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      Andre was the victim of the domestic violence incident, not the perpetrator. He is even listed as the victim on the police report. How do you fire someone for being the victim of domestic violence?

      Dec 15, 2010 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      P.S. The law they violated is the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The police department is part of the government. The government is prohibited from discriminating even in states where private employers are not.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @GlacierGuy: I do apologize if I took your expression of “the good ole south” to mean southern states when it was a southern state in question. I should have seen your comment about the “good ole south” and automatically thought about Alaska. It is entirely my bad!

      Oh and I should have seen your preface as ONLY as meaning everything but.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Sam: Unfortunately, the equal protection clause ONLY applies to formally recognized minorities, and since homosexuality is not yet a formally recognized minority, gays are currently exempt from the equal protection clause. It really comes down to how the court views the case, but there is currently no protections for the LGBTQ community under national law or the law of that state.

      @Sam: At the very least, he showed ill judgment in getting involved with someone that would beat on him. Is that really the victim mentality we want our kids to develop. This is not a man that should work with children.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronbo
      Ronbo

      Daez and Kevin –

      Give it up. Trolling, whether for pay or pleasure, is never a good thing.

      Attacking victims of violence is simply repugnant. “This is not a man that should work with children” I suggest that you remain silent, rather than, reveal the demon/dark passenger that has driven you to such depths.

      And please note that the Equal Protection clause does not state anything like “unless you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered”.

      It is rich that you’d come to queerty to mine for accomplices in hate, derision and ignorance. As a rule, we can spot the poser and troll very, very quickly.

      You do not have to go in peace; just go.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      To all the gays that think DADT and DOMa are not important because they don’t impack your life take a look at this case. The excuse that people in places like this department use to discriminate against gays is the fact that the federal govt. discriminates against gays.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Kevin: said..

      @justiceontherocks: Actually, if the good folks at Queerty had taken the time to actually read the article they’re linking to, the department claims that there were reasons for his firing other than his sexuality, to include the domestic disturbance.””
      ____________________

      Actually Kevin, you are a liar, and if you are going to lie please don’t make it so easy to catch you in your lie….below is a report on the case…

      “”On June 14, while at home and off-duty, Cooley called 911 after his boyfriend became physically violent. Among the officers who responded to the call was Chief of Corrections Charles Bolton, one of Cooley’s supervisors. After Cooley’s boyfriend told Bolton that he and Cooley were in a relationship, Bolton told Cooley not to return to work before speaking with his immediate supervisor. The next day, Staff Sergeant of Jail Operations Donnell Brannon informed Cooley that he was being permanently terminated. Cooley asked Brannon if he was being fired because he was gay, and Brannon responded, “Yes.”

      Cooley has never received a written explanation for his firing. He has never been charged or disciplined in connection with the domestic violence precipitated by his former boyfriend the day before he was fired. The official police report of the incident identifies Cooley as the victim. After firing Cooley, the sheriff’s department attempted to deny him unemployment benefits by alleging that Cooley had engaged in unspecified “inappropriate conduct and behavior while off duty, unacceptable for an officer.” But after a hearing, an administrative law judge concluded that the sheriff’s department failed to show that Cooley committed misconduct of any kind.””

      …..So Kevin, an adminstrative law judge found that he had not committed misconduct of any kind, kinda messes up your lie now doesn’tit?

      Dec 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AugustLA
      AugustLA

      Daez and his multitude of personalities have really been enjoyable to watch progress lately. He always hides behind the legality to justify the hate. His reasoning is always “well, the gays have to endure it. Under the law.” As plenty of you have noted, this is indeed a professional, power troll who has a heart risk at the meer mention of challenging, disobeying, and fighting the standard protocol of homophobia embedded in our society. His response to it has always been “stop shoving it down people’s throats and forcing them to accept you” …now is that a familiar sounding campaign slogan or what? and you’ve got two guess which side it generally comes from. Clue #1: it’s not our side. Take his, and his “friends” posts with a big grain of salt.

      Dec 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klytemnestra
      Klytemnestra

      MS is a right to work state, which means you can be let go at any time for no reason. There is no sort of job security here. Just…you don’t have a job any more.

      Sucks, doesn’t it? If your employer has any reason to dislike you- weight, race, sexual orientation, religion….MS says you can just get rid of them.

      Dec 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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