OKC Council Defers Vote On Sexual Orientation Resolution

Tuesday, October 25th 2011, 5:24 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The debate over adding two words to Oklahoma City employees' anti-discrimination policy is heating up. A city council member wants sexual orientation included in the policy.

The idea has some people rallying in support. A group supporting gay and lesbian issues will rally in support of the resolution at the Cimarron Alliance. Councilman Ed Shadid is expected to be here. He met opposition from fellow city council members on Tuesday.

"It's progress we're having this discussion. I think it's healthy we are having this discussion," Councilman Shadid said.

But talks have been put off for three weeks. Oklahoma City council members voted to defer Councilman Ed Shadid's sexual orientation resolution until November 15. One councilman argued he doesn't think a discrimination issue exists.

"To some degree it makes it look like that this was put here and brought to us to say that we've been doing something wrong that's we've been sinful against a class of people," Councilman Skip Kelly said.

Councilman Shadid's resolution would add sexual orientation to protect gay and bisexual city employees.

"It's adding two words, sexual orientation, to a laundry list of conditions that the city cannot hire or fire based upon," Shadid said.

Shadid said more than 100 cities across the country and hundreds of large businesses have added the wording into policies and thinks it's time Oklahoma City should, too.

Some council members have asked for input from the city's legal and personnel departments before the vote.

"I don't expect there will be any new roadblocks and I expect passage on November 15," Shadid said.

Councilman Shadid said Tulsa approved this last year, as well as a number of other Oklahoma cities.

Mayor Mick Cornett was not at the meeting Tuesday, but Councilman Shadid believes he has the mayor's support in this issue.