OKC theater company loses funds for presenting gay play by Paul Rudnick

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally KernAn Oklahoma City theater company is under attack because it will present a play by gay playwright Paul Rudnick in December.

State Rep. Dan Fisher belongs to a group called “Patriot Pastors.” As a result of his efforts, the theater company has already lost $5,000 in funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Another member of the group is Steve Kern, husband of state Rep. Sally Kern, the notorious homophobe in the Oklahoma House who blamed this paper for “bashing” her.

Despite the loss of funding, the Oklahoma City Theatre Company plans to present The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at the Civic Center. The Civic Center said it does not censor shows and will host the production.

And if you haven’t already had enough of Sally Kern in Oklahoma state government, her husband has announced that he is running for state Senate.

—  David Taffet

OKC hate crime victim meets with FBI

Jon Ferguson’s car

The victim of an apparent hate crime in Oklahoma City last weekend met with the FBI for several hours on Wednesday.

“I can’t say enough good things about the FBI,” Cimarron Alliance Executive Director Scott Hamilton said. “The investigation is moving forward.”

He called the FBI thorough and intentional.

On Saturday, July 21, Jon Ferguson was awakened by his car alarm. When he got to the alley behind his house, he found two men vandalizing his car. They saw him, threw an incendiary device into the car and fled.

Ferguson was hit by either flames from the device or something burning from his car. He suffered burns on about 35 percent of his body but has been released from the hospital.

Fire department arson investigators have been looking into the attack, not the police department.

Hamilton said that one told him it was standard procedure and another told him police may get involved later on.

Although police have not ruled hate out as a motive, Hamilton decided to bring in the Justice Department when police declined to investigate.

The FBI took Ferguson’s clothes he was wearing on Saturday for lab tests.

Unlike the community in Portland, Texas, that rallied around the families of recent hate crime victims, Hamilton said, “The vitriol surrounding this is astounding.”

“Call Cimarron Alliance if you’ve been the victim of a hate crime,” Hamilton said.

—  David Taffet

OKC councilman again votes against Pride, compares gays to wife-beaters, pedophiles

brian_walters_okc_councilman

Here in Dallas, it’s news when a city councilmember refuses to attend gay Pride. But just up the road in Oklahoma City, one city councilmember is still voting every year not to issue a special-event permit for gay Pride. Not only that, in defending his vote, Councilman Brian Walters is still equating gays with wife-beaters and child molesters. From On Top Magazine:

“The reason I voted no on that is that I’m a born-again Christian and don’t believe in the homosexual lifestyle,” Walters, who represents the city’s Ward 5, told The Journal Record. (subscription only)

The council’s remaining seven representatives voted in favor of the event.

“I don’t want my vote to be construed as support, because I really don’t support that, the same way that I wouldn’t support a group of, say, pedophiles who wanted to assemble. I would not vote yes on that either, [or] men who beat up their wives. Anything like that,” Walters said Wednesday.

Needless to say, OKC Pride will go on with or without Walters’ support June 25-27. And organizers are quietly thanking Walters for the free publicity.

UPDATE: In response to Rickey Wagner’s comment below, here’s contact info for Walters:

Phone: 405 297-2569
E-mail: ward5@okc.gov

—  John Wright