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WATCH: Oklahoma Now Has One City Where LGBT Rights Are Protected

WATCH: Oklahoma Now Has One City Where LGBT Rights Are Protected

WATCH: Oklahoma Now Has One City Where LGBT Rights Are Protected

Norman is the first city in the Sooner State to fully embrace comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals.

Norman, Okla., is the first city in the state to offer nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public spaces, covering both sexual orientation and gender identity, reports Oklahoma City TV station KWTV.

By a unanimous vote, the City Council in Norman Tuesday night approved the redefinition of the word “sex” in the city’s existing Human Rights Ordinance to include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. 

Oklahoma isn’t the easiest place to live openly as LGBT. In July activists raised a red flag when organizers of an event testing speed and marksmanship posted an LGBT rainbow flag on Facebook, suggesting it could be used for target practice. Once marriage equality passed, Oklahoma prison officials outlawed all inmate weddings to prevent same-sex couples from getting married behind bars. And an antigay state senator went on the record in The New York Times declaring that LGBT people “don’t have a right to be served in every single store.”

Norman, though, is home to the University of Oklahoma, a factor that may make it more liberal than the rest of the state.

The vote delighted local LGBT leaders, including Kay Holladay, PFLAG regional director: “I thank the Norman City Council for ensuring the rights of all Norman citizens. Their leadership in making this public action sends the clear message to our LGBT friends that Norman is truly an inclusive community.”

“This is a historic day, not only for Norman, but for the entire state of Oklahoma,” added Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, a statewide organization fighting for LGBT equality in Oklahoma. “As the first city in our great state to fully protect all of its residents, Norman has set a precedent for every municipality in Oklahoma, and a challenge to our state legislature to follow suit.”

Watch a report by KWTV about the council vote below. - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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