Tulsa weighs protections for gay workers

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 at 8:03am
G. T. Bynum
G. T. Bynum

The Tulsa City Council this week will consider a proposal to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation for city workers.

According to Tulsa World, the measure will be introduced by G.T. Bynum, a young, conservative Republican member of the council who is a former aide to anti-gay Sen. Tom Coburn — the same Tom Coburn who once said: “The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power. … That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That’s a gay agenda.”

The proposed ordinance doesn’t include gender identity. It also doesn’t include domestic partner benefits, and it would apply only to city employees and not to private businesses.

In other words, the ordinance is similar to the one passed by Dallas in the mid-90s.

But it’s a start. And it’s being introduced by a conservative councilmember who says he believes it “maximizes personal freedom up until it infringes on someone else’s freedom.” Bynum also says it was the right thing to do.

In Dallas, when conservative Mayor Steve Bartlett voted for employment non-discrimination in 1995, he said he didn’t discriminate in his own business and didn’t think the city should, either. Of course, Bartlett was about to leave office.

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