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Okla. City Bans Bias in Municipal Employment

Okla. City Bans Bias in Municipal Employment


Oklahoma City has adopted a policy banning antigay discrimination in city employment, after an emotional meeting that saw a standing ovation for a pastor who said gays make up a large proportion of murderers.

The City Council passed the measure by a vote of 7-2 Tuesday, The Oklahoman reports. It amends the city's employment policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation; some other characteristics, such as race and gender, were already covered. In practice, the city had not discriminated based on sexual orientation, but this makes the ban explicit, city officials said. The measure does not apply to private employers.

About 100 spectators attended the meeting, compared with the usual crowds of one or two dozen, and testimony for and against the legislation took up more than half the meeting, according to The Oklahoman.

"The number of speakers for and against the measure was about even, though it seemed the majority of the people in attendance were against the measure," the paper reports. "Some speakers were applauded when they finished their comments, and the applause was loudest and longest for those who spoke against it."

The longest standing ovation of the day went to Baptist minister Tom Vineyard, who claimed that in large cities, gay people commit half of all murders, and that "many homosexuals openly admit that they are pedophiles because they cannot actually reproduce. They resort to recruiting children." He added, "Folks, you're making a decision that will bring down God's judgment on your city if you vote in favor of this."

Scott Hamilton, who is also a minister as well as executive director of the Cimarron Alliance, an LGBT rights group, responded strongly. "To couch in Christian terms these so-called statistics -- I'll call them what they are," he said. "They are lies."

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