Lawmakers in Oklahoma were so determined not to cooperate with federal officials investigating hate crimes targeting gays and lesbians that they voted for a bill requiring that police files and other documents be kept from federal investigators.
But the Oklahoma State Senate referenced the wrong section of the penal code; lawmakers ended up voting to strip away hate crimes protections relevant to race and religion, not sexual orientation or sexual identity.
"The bill in its current form doesn’t take away rights from gays and lesbians," said Oklahoma State Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice. "It takes away rights for religion and race." Added Rice, "Gay and lesbian citizens should be upset because someone tried to take their rights away, but minority groups should be concerned that their rights have already been voted to be taken away by the Senate. People who consider themselves Jewish, black, even Christians should be outraged."