Norman City Council Passes Gay, Lesbian History Month Proclamation

Tuesday, September 28th 2010, 3:42 pm

By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Dozens of protesters attended Tuesday night's city council meeting in Norman. Supporters and opponents spent several hours debating a proclamation to acknowledge the month of October 2010 as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.

After about three hours of debate, the Norman City Council passed the proclamation 7 to 1.

Most of the residents at the meeting discussed the proclamation, recognizing the history and achievements of gays and lesbians. But many also opposed the motion.

"Regardless there is going to be ramifications. You started the divide in the community it's not going to end," said one man who opposed the proclamation.

"I also think it's not dark thinking or bigoted thinking to have an opposition to this, but it's actually clear thinking," another Norman resident said.

But there were others who supported the proclamation.

"I've been so proud of Norman because I always felt we did open our arms to everybody to be inclusive, and now I see opposition to a group who are my friends," said one woman who supported the proclamation.

"So many of the comments tonight are made out of lack of understanding, lack of education and just plain ignorance," said another resident in support of the proclamation.

A portion of the proclamation reads: "the city of Norman includes productive and caring citizens who happen to be GLBT, who own businesses within the city, and who contribute to our community through the arts, education, science politics, faith, health care, public service and all other walks of life." Read the full proclamation.

"We are gratified that the Norman City Council has acknowledged the historical contributions of LGBT Oklahomans. Some of the world's great artists, composers, architects, educators, and clergy have been gay men and lesbians," said Scott Hamilton, Executive Director of the Cimarron Alliance Foundation. "So it is only appropriate to recognize their contributions. Those who oppose such recognition are, sadly, working to perpetuate the worst components of LGBT history; bigotry, ignorance, discrimination, and intolerance.  One day history books will look back and see how LGBT Americans, in general, and Oklahomans, in particular, worked for equality for all people."


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