Scroll To Top
World

Oklahoma school
board scraps gay protections in wake of Equality
Ride

Oklahoma school
board scraps gay protections in wake of Equality
Ride

Equality_ride_bus_1

Days after the Equality Ride bus toured the state of Oklahoma, with stops at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa and Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, the Oklahoma board of education struck the sexual orientation portion from its antidiscrimination policy.

Days after the Equality Ride bus toured the state of Oklahoma, with stops at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa and Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, the Oklahoma board of education struck the sexual orientation portion from its antidiscrimination policy. The change happened without notice last Thursday in Oklahoma City in response to a state representative's complaints about the Equality Ride, in which more than 30 young LGBT activists are attempting to meet with students at Christian universities across the country that prohibit the enrollment of gays. Previously the school board's antidiscrimination policy covered sexual orientation as well as a student's family, social, and cultural background. Now those categories have been struck from the policy, which has reverted back to state and federal antidiscrimination laws protecting a student's race, for instance. The action came at the request of Oklahoma representative Kevin Calvey, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Congress. He said in a statement that "the board's new rule will protect public schools from having to allow homosexual rights organizations to hold meetings on school grounds." Citing the recent Equality Ride protests at the two universities, where several Equality Riders were arrested, Calvey added, "This isn't really at the high school level yet, but I would expect it someday to be." The head of an Oklahoma gay rights group said that the policy change is a part of wider political positioning by conservatives this election year. "It's just open season on GLBT people at the state legislature," Laura Belmonte, president of Tulsa Oklahomans for Human Rights, told Tulsaworld.com. "It is our belief that these conservative legislators are using these issues as a wedge issue to try to mobilize their base in an effort to take over the senate this year." There was no comment from the school board's superintendent. (The Advocate)

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff