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A long hoped for committee has finally been approved by the city of Tulsa. On Monday, Tulsa’s Human Rights Commission approved the establishment of a 2SLGBTQ+ committee dedicated to elevating issues facing the community.
The effort was spearheaded by Josiah Robinson, the LGBTQIA+ Advocate on the commission.
“With increased rhetoric and legislation negatively impacting gender and sexual minority Oklahomans, it’s critical we develop creative and localized approaches to ensuring safe, welcoming, and inclusive communities,” Robinson said in a statement shared with The Black Wall Street Times.
The decision comes after a season of intense legislative attacks on 2SLGBTQ+ residents across the state. According to the state’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization Freedom Oklahoma, the state legislature has passed or considered over 40 bills restricting the rights of trans, nonbinary, gay, lesbian and other LGBTQ members of society.
Tulsa forms new committee dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ folx
The new 2SLGBTQ+ committee in Tulsa will support efforts related to interfacing with the two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex community, identifying the needs of its members, and raising awareness about issues facing the community to foster a more safe, welcoming, and inclusive city.
“Tulsa is uniquely positioned to be the state’s leader in championing all voices by its recent declaration as a welcoming and inclusive city,” said Kristy Vann, Board Chair of Black Queer Tulsa.
“I am honored to work with fierce advocates and community leaders that ensure all 2SLGBTQ+ voices are heard and that we all have space to thrive in Tulsa.”
In response to the hate-filled legislation, Tulsa City Council passed a watered-down resolution in March affirming support for all residents of the city regardless of background.
“I’m sorry that it’s not more,” Councilor Bellis said after the vote.
Moving the needle forward
Meanwhile, Monday’s decision opens the door for more awareness and support for a community that faces continued attacks from the state legislature.
Currently, Tulsa scores 78 out of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index. In Oklahoma, Norman is the only city to achieve a score of 100. The lowest score in Oklahoma is Broken Arrow at 0.
The Committee aims to support efforts related to improving and maintaining the City’s Municipal Equality Index score.
“I am excited to be a part of the voices representing the 2SLGBTQ+ community in Tulsa and beyond. I’m proud of our city for again taking up the mantle of human rights for all of its constituents,” said Dorothy Ballard, Executive Director of Oklahomans for Equality.