Tempers flare on state House floor

Wednesday, March 9th 2005, 5:30 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Some Oklahoma House members exchange angry words and menacing stares during a series of parliamentary votes.

Owasso state Representative John Smaligo had a verbal tiff with Oklahoma City state Representative Opio Toure Tuesday after Democrats forced procedural votes on Republican-sponsored bills.

Smaligo shook his finger at Toure and tried to move toward his desk but was held back by Republican Representative Gus Blackwell of Goodwell. A member of the House sergeant-at-arms staff took a position near Toure before Smaligo finally walked out of the House chamber.

The men later shook hands and apologized to each other.

Toure says he's going to advocate things that he feels strongly about.

Smaligo says there are procedures in place and they should be followed.

The disagreement began after Democrats forced a delay in consideration of a bill that bars discrimination policies by any government agency in the state based on sexual preference.

Democrats invoked a rule requiring measures to be sent back to the state House staff when they are amended.