The following statement is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “We welcome the Speaker’s prompt response to this matter. Speaker McCall’s statement is reassuring to all Oklahomans but especially all LGBTQ Oklahomans. Given, however, that the email was distributed with language that indicated that it was sent at the direction of the Speaker’s office and Speaker McCall’s willingness to allow anti-LBGTQ legislation to advance this session, LGBTQ Oklahomans and their allies are to be forgiven for assuming this email originated from the highest levels of the legislature. It is not enough to say that LBGTQ Oklahomans are welcome at the Capitol. Of course they areRead More →

Please attribute the following to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director at ACLU of Oklahoma:   Today, on HIV/AIDS awareness day, we have received reports that Legislative Pages are being allowed access to private Capitol restrooms in response to the presence of “cross dressers” in the building. Implying that young women may be unsafe in an environment simply due to the presence of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS Activists is offensive and incredibly dangerous. Promoting fear and hysteria about some of Oklahoma’s most marginalized communities is exactly the sort of behavior that leads to one of the most anti-LGBTQ environments in the nation. Today’s activism is geared toward creatingRead More →

The senseless murder of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney leaves us grieving and asking why. Why, in a state whose budget is dominated by corrections spending, is it possible that, despite multiple arrests for violent crimes, Terney’s accused killer never received the help he so desperately needed? Help may have prevented this horrific killing. Why, prior to the deadly encounter with Officer Terney, did suspect Byron James Shepard and his criminal record that spans at least 17 years and five counties never confront meaningful intervention and treatment? His record included numerous felony charges, such as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, domestic abuse,Read More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – The ACLU of Oklahoma today sent questionnaires to the candidates for Oklahoma County Sheriff requesting policy positions on a range of subjects. The ACLU of Oklahoma does not endorse candidates for political office, however, as the preeminent defender of civil rights and civil liberties we are undertaking this effort to help educate our membership and voters in general about the critical issues facing our criminal justice system. With the Oklahoma County Sheriff special election set to be held on April 4th, it is important that the voters have a clear understanding of the candidate’s positions on these critical issues before the ballotsRead More →

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected former Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s rewrite of medical marijuana State Question 788. The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: “We applaud the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision today to strike down the former Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s rewrite of State Question 788. It is the duty of the Attorney General to write the ballot title in a clear and concise manner that accurately reflects the intentions of the petitioners. In this case, the former attorney general failed to do so, instead inserting his own personal politics into the process. In tilting that theRead More →