A Baptist minister arrested in January of 2006 for inviting an undercover male police officer to a hotel room for sexual activity was acquitted on March 7, 2007. The Rev. Lonnie Latham, a former board member of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, had been charged with offering to engage in an act of lewdness. Oklahoma County District Judge Roma McElwee issued the acquittal following a brief trial. Latham was represented in the criminal misdemeanor case by Mack Martin, an attorney in private practice. However, the ACLU National Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, with assistance from the ACLU of Oklahoma, became involved in the case last yearRead More →

The ACLU National Office, in conjunction with the state affiliate, initiated a lawsuit last fall on behalf of a Muslim man who was unfairly detained and mistreated at the Oklahoma Federal Transfer Center during March of 2003. The case of Al-Kidd v. Sugrue was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to vindicate the rights of plaintiff Abdullah al-Kidd following harsh treatment he received while in custody at a facility supervised by defendant Warden John Sugrue. The lawsuit is currently in settlement talks. This development follows a ruling favorable to the plaintiff by the federal judge in the case. Al-Kidd,Read More →

Senate Bill 1150 failed to garner the 25 votes needed on May 14, 2008 to require Oklahomans to provide proof of identity in order to vote. SB 1150, authored by Senator John Ford, would have required Oklahomans to provide a photo ID, bank statement, government check, or pay check the next time they went to the polls. The ACLU of Oklahoma praised those senators who voted against a voter ID bill. “Voting is a fundamental right that should be exercised without unnecessary burdens,” said ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Joann Bell. “We are grateful to the Senators who understand that requiring proof of identity isRead More →

The appeal of a 2006 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma to retain a Ten Commandments monument on the Haskell County Courthouse lawn was argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver Colorado on October 4, 2007. Daniel Mach, Director of Litigation for the National ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, presented the oral argument to the Tenth Circuit. He was advised by Micheal Salem, an ACLU of Oklahoma cooperating attorney who handled the case at the District Court trial with former ACLU of Oklahoma Staff Attorney Tina Izadi. The ACLU ofRead More →