The Oklahoma City City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to add language protecting gay and lesbian employees to the list of people specifically protected from workplace discrimination. The motion was proposed by Council member Ed Shadid two weeks ago, but the vote was delayed so that members could study the issue. Council members Skip Kelly and Larry McAtee voted against it. Kelly opposed the motion on the grounds that, in his view, no discrimination exists in city government against gay and lesbian employees. “To some degree it makes it look like that this was put here and brought to us to say that we’ve been doing something wrong that’s we’ve been sinful against a class of people,” Kelly said.
The measure simply adds sexual orientation to race, creed, ethnic origin, color, religion, disability, sex and age in the city’s anti discrimination policy. The city is unable to hire or fire employees on the basis of any of the above conditions.