Norman Oklahoma Designates October as GLBT Month

29 Sep

The Norman City Council here in Oklahoma passed a resolution last evening recognizing  October as GLBT History Month.    It’s reassuring to know that there are pockets of sanity in this state.  
 
 By Emily Hopkins of the Oklahoma Daily (The Oklahoma Daily is the University of Oklahoma’s newspaper)

Nearly three hours of debate Tuesday night at Norman City Council’s meeting resulted in a 7 to1 pass vote of a proclamation that designated October as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered History Month in Norman.

The proposal was initiated by the Norman Human Rights Commission, which then brought the issue to the attention of the council.

“Norman prides itself on being on inclusive community. Inclusive communities are built not from walls, but from bridges. It’s easy to protect the rights of people who look and act like us, but it’s important to protect the rights of those who don’t,” said Mike Ridgeway, chairman of the Human Rights Commission.

After prior agenda issues were discussed and the proclamation was acknowledged, the council then opened comments up to the public. Roughly 43 citizens voiced their opinions.

Some alleged that its passage would “endorse the lifestyle” of a “behavior that is counterproductive to a healthy community.” Others stated that it would be a step in the right direction toward “recognizing the struggles” and respecting the identities of homosexual citizens.

“Each council member here will look into their souls. Representation is about listening, acting for the interests of the people but also in using our best judgment,” Rosenthal said.

The invitation for public comments closed at 9:30 p.m. All eight council members, including the mayor, then expressed their opinions for another hour and fifteen minutes.

“This body should uphold people’s rights, as should any governing body. If we did have equal rights for homosexuals, we wouldn’t even have the need for this proclamation,” Council Member Tom Kovach, Ward 2, said.

The discussion closed with a vote in favor of the proclamation. Seven council members voted in favor, and one, Dan Quinn of Ward 8, opposed.

GLBT History Month on a national level was first recognized in 1994, in coordination with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

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