Language barring discrimination based on sexual orientation to stay in policy

Sunday, January 23rd 2005, 1:56 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Language prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation will stay in Oklahoma County's nondiscrimination policy after efforts to change the policy failed to win a board's approval.

A budget board made up of the county's eight elected officials voted down two alternative nondiscrimination clauses Thursday. The clauses would have eliminated language specifically forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation, political affiliation and other reasons.

About 200 people attended the meeting and 14 citizens spoke.

Wayne Porter cited recent passage of the state's marriage amendment, which prohibits marriage between same-sex couples.

``I would like to see Oklahoma continue with the traditional values and the conservative values that Oklahoma is known for,'' Porter said.

Clara Luper, a longtime Oklahoma City civil rights leader, asked the board to keep the policy.

``Slavery was tradition,'' Luper said. ``Discrimination based on race was tradition. Now we are asking you to break the chains of tradition and move into this century. Don't discriminate against God's children.''