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City Of Norman Adopts LGBT Protections For Citizens

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Norman adopted new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens Tuesday night during its city council meeting. Norman adopted new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens Tuesday night during its city council meeting.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Norman adopted new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens Tuesday night during its city council meeting.

This comes five years after Zach Harrington, a 19-year-old gay man, took his own life. His father blamed a contentious council meeting where residents used anti-gay rhetoric back in 2010.

Norman is now the first city in the state to pass inclusive protections for the LGBT community. 

Supporters called Tuesday's vote historic. 

"It should have been done a long time ago," said Troy Stevenson, Freedom Oklahoma director. 

They're inclusive protections that are intended to match those already in place for minority communities. 

Stevenson said this has been an ongoing fight for years. 

"This is actually one of the most important fights that's going on in the state of Oklahoma," Stevenson said. 

And until now, in the City of Norman, there were no protections in place for the LGBT community such as equal housing, public accommodations, or private employment.  

"This was already illegal, nobody should be discriminated against, and I think people would be shocked that we're still sitting here in 2015 fighting for this," Stevenson said. 

"This city council is leading a leadership voice within the state of Oklahoma," Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal said this vote was about human dignity, social justice and equality. 

"For those we call tenants, employees, friends and family," she said. 

"And there's going to be no second class citizens from the stand point of the LGBT community," said Norman attorney Don Holladay. "And they and their children are going to be protected the same way as all of our other citizens. 

"Norman prides itself on being a very inclusive community, and I think this is a step towards that direction," Stevenson said. 

Norman will join more than 200 cities across the country that have similar protections for the LGBT community. 

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