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Saturday 08 April 2017

Oklahoma shooting highlights need for law change

Posted in: International News
By Daily News staff - 10th March 2017

An LGBTI equality centre in the US has been gunned down, luckily while no one was inside.

The Dennis R. Neil Equality Center, in Tulsa Oklahoma
The Dennis R. Neil Equality Center, in Tulsa Oklahoma was hit with thirteen bullets, an incident that doesn’t surprise the Board President of Oklahomans for Equality, Geoffrey Brewster. Current hate-crime legislation in the state doesn’t extend to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bullet holes were discovered on Monday morning and security footage has revealed a pickup truck pulling up in from of the centre just after midnight the previous night.

Brewster told Gay Star News “They are the latest reminder of the deep-seated hatred some individuals have towards the LGBTQ community. Oklahomans for Equality condemns every act of hatred and violence perpetrated against any individual or group based upon difference.

“We are keenly aware after an event such as this, or the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, FL, that sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes in current hate crime legislation.

“Even though hatred of difference is the motivation for such acts, our community is not equally protected under the law. This must change, and we call on our community and our allies to demand it.”

Late last month the state Senate Panel advanced a Republican Bill attempting to ban local LGBTI Anti-discrimination ordinances. Currently there are no public accommodation protections - referring to places such as restaurants and hotels - for queer and gender diverse people anywhere in the State.

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