OKLAHOMA CITY -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has not endorsed any proposed amendments to Oklahoma City anti-panhandling ordinances and “remains committed to challenging the ordinance adopted in December in court,” its executive director said today.

On Tuesday, members of the Oklahoma City Council advanced a proposal that would tighten rules preventing panhandling in the metro area.

“Over the course of this debate we have reviewed hypothetical alternatives to the language that was passed by the council in December,” ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said. “At that time, we expressed our thoughts. We have not endorsed any language that was proposed at the council’s Tuesday, January 19, meeting.”

Both Kiesel and the organization’s legal director, Brady Henderson, were in Denver Tuesday, arguing a case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and did not attend the meeting of the Oklahoma City Council.

Kiesel said ACLU Oklahoma remains committed to protecting the 1st Amendment rights of all residents, including those struggling financially.

"We don’t believe in criminalizing those in poverty,” he said.

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