Keith Kimmel, the Oklahoma gay man who
was suing for the right to display his sexuality on a license plate,
was found dead Wednesday morning, Tulsa CW affiliate KOTV reported.
Kimmel's request for a personalized 'IM
GAY' license plate was turned down by the Oklahoma Tax Commission
last year. He sued the commission, saying the right to display his
sexuality on a license plate was protected free speech.
Oklahoma has issued similar plates for
straight people, including 'STR8SXI' and 'STR8FAN.'
posting on Kimmel's Facebook page says: “There is no way easy
to say this. Keith has been staying with me for a few days, and this
morning at 7:45AM I found him dead in my living room chair.”
Norman police have confirmed they are
investigating the death but provided few details.
On Monday, Kimmel filed a complaint
against Tulsa police. In the complaint, Kimmel claims that officers
called to the scene over the weekend to break up a fight at The End
Up Club, a gay stripper bar, “beat him,” made “crude comments
about my weight” and “several derogatory remarks were made with
regard to my sexual orientation and the entertainers and/or patrons
of the bar.”
He called the incident a “blatant
hate crime” in the complaint.
The complaint also includes various
photographs of a bruised Kimmel, including a foot-long bruise on his
An autopsy has been ordered to
determine the cause of death.