Jim Roth, Rob Johnson
No Gays Allowed on Oklahoma Election Board?

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com May 17 2012 2:36 PM ET

State law required Oklahoma's Republican governor to pick a Democrat for its Election Board, but the gay man she selected as most qualified isn't even getting a vote.

Jim Roth was Gov. Mary Fallin's choice for the state's election board, having to name someone from a list provided by Democrats. Local newspapers point out Roth's long list of qualifications, including a term on the statewide Corporation Commission, and two terms as county commissioner.

But Senate Rules Committee Chairman Rob Johnson said it was Roth's experience, not his being gay, that led him to scuttle any vote on the nominee.

“There was a lot of concern among our caucus about putting someone who was a former statewide office holder on the election board,” Johnson told the Enid News and Eagle.

But Sen. Al McAffrey, who is gay, isn't buying that logic. He says Republicans are afraid a vote for a gay nominee would make them look too liberal.

"Senators do not want during election time to vote on a gay person," he told the Tulsa World. "That is what it comes down to."