Openly gay Oklahoma Rep. Al McAffrey announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would expand his state’s hate crimes law to include sexual orientation. Fellow Democrat Richard Morrissette will also sponsor similar legislation.
Victory endorsee McAffrey, who recently secured a second term in office, said he will introduce the bill in the next legislative session. According to Tulsa World, McAffrey was one of five state representatives to propose new hate crimes bills last year. Three of them included clauses regarding sexual orientation and gender identity and all of the proposals were rejected before the reached committee.
Tulsa World reports:
Morrissette, who also proposed a hate-crimes law change last year, said Friday that he doesn’t want to duplicate McAffrey’s effort but will support his plan to include sexual orientation in the state’s hate-crimes law.
He considers it a human-rights issue, he said.
“If we are going to treat people fairly and equally under the Constitution, this
should be included,” Morrissette said.
McAffrey said that “we should have a bill that protects everybody, and that includes sexual orientation.”
Both representatives addressed why no hate-crimes bill, especially those that covered sexual orientation, had enough support to be voted on by the House or even heard in committee last year.