Though the Oklahoma City Council's decision to include sexual orientation in the city's employment nondiscrimination policy is being hailed as a victory for the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, one critic's comments during the public commentary portion of the session is leaving some feeling less than optimistic.
As NewsOK is reporting, Pastor Tom Vineyard of Windsor Hills Baptist Church cited "a New York judge" in saying more than half of murders in large cities are committed by gay people. He went on to note, "Many homosexuals openly admit that they are pedophiles because they cannot actually reproduce. They resort to recruiting children. ... Folks, you're making a decision that will bring down God's judgment on your city if you vote in favor of this." Vineyard is also reported to have received the longest standing ovation of the day after his remarks.
The "emotional and polarizing nature" of the amendment, which passed 7-2, drew more than 100 people to the council chamber well in advance of the 8:30 a.m. meeting, NewsOK reported. The applause was most profound for those who spoke against it, many of whom cited religion as the reason for their opposition.
Still, the new measure did receive plenty of praise from its supporters, such as City Council member Ed Shadid. "It's adding two words, sexual orientation, to a laundry list of conditions that the city cannot hire or fire based upon," he said.
"Everyone deserves to be included. I think this goes a long way to heal wounds of the past," Shadid added.
Watch a news report below:
Every day, HuffPost Queer Voices sends the latest news, politics, culture and entertainment that matters to the queer community — right to your inbox. Learn more