City Council approves Tulsa's first hate crimes ordinance

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Tulsa City Council has unanimously approved the first hate crimes ordinance for Oklahoma's second-largest city.

The council approved the measure Wednesday, and Mayor G.T. Bynum said he supports it and will sign it into law. It's similar to an existing state hate crimes law, but includes four additional protected classes: gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, the Tulsa World reported.

It applies only to misdemeanor crimes because those are the only crimes the city prosecutes. The crimes include assault and battery, vandalizing or destroying personal property, and the threat of such actions, among other things.

Those convicted of violating the ordinance could be fined up to $1,000 and jailed for up to six months.

“This moment is not only for the LGBT community, but it is for women; it is for religion; it is for race; it’s for national origin; it is for people with disabilities, so that we are standing together as a city saying that we do not tolerate hate against anyone,” said Councilor Crista Patrick, who sponsored the measure.