In explaining his lone vote against a
gay pride event, Oklahoma City Councilman Brian Walters likened
participants to pedophiles and wife beaters.
Walters said he voted Tuesday against a
special event permit to hold a gay pride parade and festival on June
26-27 because he's a Christian.
“The reason I voted no on that is
that I'm a born-again Christian and don't believe in the homosexual
lifestyle,” Walters, who represents the city's Ward 5, told The
The council's remaining seven
representatives voted in favor of the event.
“I don't want my vote to be construed
as support, because I really don't support that, the same way that I
wouldn't support a group of say pedophiles who wanted to assemble. I
would not vote yes on that either, [or] men who beat up their wives.
Anything like that,” Walters said Wednesday.
Nathan Thompson, vice president of OKC
Pride, Inc., the group behind the city's annual gay pride
celebration, called Walters' comments “outrageous.”
“It is outrageous for anyone, let
alone an elected official, to compare law-abiding citizens to
criminals like pedophiles or wife beaters,” Thompson said. “It
is backwards and misrepresents the progressive direction Oklahoma
City is headed in, with or without Brian Walters.”
“Bigotry at this level is disgusting
and will not be tolerated,” he added.
Speaking Thursday to local NBC
affiliate KFOR, Walters said his comments were not meant to be
“It's not personal. I don't hate
these people. It's just moral conviction; I cannot support them,”
Walters added that he votes against the
event every year.