Former SC Pride Movement president Ryan Wilson writes in response to a Free Times‘ story on Richland (S.C.) County Sheriff Leon Lott:
Say what you want about Leon Lott, but that “rural sheriff” has been more progressive on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues than most police chiefs in major cities and counties across the nation. Several years ago, Sheriff Lott appointed a liaison to the LGBT community — a special investigator who attends community events, meets with community leaders, works beside us and listens to our concerns. Only a handful of cities in the nation and even fewer cities in the South can boast this special interaction between law enforcement and the gay community.
And, Wilson is more than right. Little ol’ Richland County and its seat, Columbia, have made far more progress on LGBT issues than many other cities across the South, including Charlotte. It’s a tough fact to deal with, and somewhat confusing given Columbia is the state capital of a state many associate with anti-[everything] hate. Weird, but fortunately true for LGBT Columbians and Richland County citizens.