The following is attributable to Allie Shinn, External Affairs Director:
“The suggestion that hard-fought battles for increased equality constitute some moral failing is absurd on its face. To go further and blame that so-called immorality for the widespread gun violence that has become a hallmark of our nation is deeply insulting to the victims of shootings, LGBTQ Oklahomans, and everyone seeking serious solutions to such serious problems.
Though it’s encouraging to see Senators from both parties push back against today’s remarks, it’s important to note that legislation aimed at curbing the rights of LGBTQ Oklahomans is working its way through the Legislature this session. It is not enough to condemn these remarks that fall so far out of the mainstream. Lawmakers must take their action several steps further, end their annual assault on the rights of LGBTQ Oklahomans and other political minorities, and declare their support both in words and in action for all of their constituencies, not just those who fall into majority categories. Though legislators are now promising to have discussions on decorum, said discussions are not helpful when members of leadership remain among Oklahoma’s chief crusaders against equal rights.”
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:
“The grotesque drivel passed off as a religious devotional by Bill Ledbetter today in the Oklahoma State Senate can hardly be reduced to an issue of lax decorum by a legislative body with such an abysmal track record on equality. These remarks fall so far out of the confines of rational thought that swift and strong condemnation is the only reasonable response. Yet that condemnation offers little solace to Oklahomans who year after year watch large numbers of legislators assault their individual liberties in exchange for cheap political points. It’s well past time for Legislators to make clear their unequivocal support of all of their constituents of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Until the Legislature commits itself to stop advancing hateful legislation on an annual basis, we should not be surprised when bigots use their turn at the helm of a legislative chamber to peddle ignorance.”