Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilor Ed Shadid has shown us again what victory looks like for progressives here.
Shadid recently sponsored a legal measure that gives the LGBT community protected status in the city’s anti-discrimination housing law, and the Oklahoma City Council approved it in an extremely close 5 to 4 vote. Essentially the measure outlaws discrimination against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered when it comes to seeking or living in housing in Oklahoma City.
It’s an important measure. Shadid, of course, was not the only one responsible for it. Local pro-equality groups and supporters were involved in getting the measure passed, as well,but there’s no doubt Shadid’s support was fundamentally instrumental in making it all happen.
"Same-sex couples should be able to get married."—President Obama
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 9, 2012
What it means on the basic, pragmatic level is that landlords can’t decline to rent or sell apartments and houses to people because of their sexual orientation. It is a much needed provision. Despite recent victories when it comes to same-sex marriage across the country, the LGBT community continues to face prejudice and outright discrimination.
Shadid, as you might recall, also led the successful fight last year to prevent the oil and gas industry from fracking new wells near Lake Hefner, a main water supply for city residents. That was another major win for progressives. Shadid also sponsored the approved measure in 2011 that now prevents city employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community. That’s another win for progressives.
Here’s the breakdown of the vote: Shadid, Mayor Mick Cornett, Ward 4 Councilor Pete White, Ward 6 Councilor Meg Salyer and Ward 7 Councilor John Pettis voted in favor of it. Those opposed were Ward 1 Councilor James Greiner, Ward 3 Councilor Larry McAtee, Ward 5 Councilor David Greenwell and Ward 8 Councilor Mark Stonecipher.
There’s not much to say about those who voted against the proposal. They’re on the wrong side of history and will be remembered as being on the wrong side of history. Maybe they relish it. Who knows?
Cornett’s vote in favor of the proposal garnered some media attention and he should be commended for it, but it was really Shadid and the LGBT community who made this happen. Cornett was once outspoken about his opposition to same-sex marriage when he ran for Congress and lost.
The city of Norman also recently passed a sweeping anti-discrimination measure protecting the equality rights of the LGBT community. This was a major win for progressives as well.
Positive, progressive change on the prairie comes, in the poetic words of W.B. Yeats, “dropping slow,” but it’s happening. It’s leaders like Shadid and those behind the scenes that don’t ever give up that are making it happen.