Democratic Representative Mauree Turner in Oklahoma was censured by Republican lawmakers on Tuesday for not apologizing for protecting a transgender rights activist from law enforcement officers. Turner, who prefers "they/them" pronouns, defended their actions by stating that their office was a safe space for people from all communities seeking refuge from hate.
“I think an apology for loving the people of Oklahoma is something that I cannot do,” said Turner, D-Oklahoma City, flanked by several Democratic colleagues. “It’s something that I actively refuse to do.”#okleg (from @AP) https://t.co/J87ghYTXOF
— Sean Murphy (@apseanmurphy) March 7, 2023
Although House Democratic Leader Rep. Cyndi Munson argued that the censure vote was an effort to “silence a member who doesn't think like them, act like them, dress like them,” Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma have conveyed their strict stance against any obstruction of law enforcement.
Republican Oklahoma Lawmakers Censure ‘Non-Binary’ Rep Who Housed Fugitive In State Office https://t.co/Zj9dwcLXPK
— US Burning (@UsBurning) March 8, 2023
During a protest at the state Capitol, a transgender rights activist reportedly poured water on a state representative and engaged in a scuffle with law enforcement officers. Following the altercation, the suspect sought refuge in Turner's office, where law enforcement was denied entry.
Censuring Turner is a significant measure in ensuring the safety of all citizens and maintaining the rule of law in Oklahoma. It is crucial for everyone, regardless of their political ideology or gender identity, to honor and follow the law. No individual should be permitted to exploit their position to safeguard lawbreakers or obstruct law enforcement.
The Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma have sent a strong message that they will not tolerate any interference with law enforcement and that they will take decisive action to ensure that justice is served. This is an important reminder that no one is above the law and that all individuals must be held accountable for their actions. It is also a reminder that the safety of all citizens must be taken seriously and that any attempts to interfere with law enforcement will not be tolerated.