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Oklahoma Senator releases statement about remarks appearing to refer to LGBTQ community as ‘filth’

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A State Senator has released a statement about remarks he made on Friday where he appeared to refer to the LGBTQ community as “filth.”

According to the Tahlequah Daily Press, on Friday Sen. Tom Woods, R-Westville, was asked about impact of bills targeting the LGBTQ community, as well as how it relates to the death of Nex Benedict who identified as nonbinary.

Woods replied by saying while his heart goes out to Benedict, he represents “a constituency that doesn’t want that filth in Oklahoma.”

“My heart goes out to that scenario if that is the case, but we represent a constituency, we’re a Republican state, supermajority in the House and Senate. I represent a constituency that doesn’t want that filth in Oklahoma. We are a religious state, we are going to fight to keep that filth out of the state of Oklahoma because we’re a Christian state, we’re a moral state,” Woods said. “We want to lower taxes and let people be able to live and work and go to the faith they choose. We are a Republican state and I’m going to vote my district, and I’m going to vote my values, and we don’t want that in the state of Oklahoma,” Woods said.

On Monday, Woods released a statement saying Benedict losing their life is horrible, but he stands by what he believes in.

“Firstly, I want to say that a child losing their life is horrible. They were a victim of bullying and that is never okay. It is always a tragedy when someone loses their life. I said that Friday and I mean that still today. I hope anyone struggling in a similar position gets the help they need as soon as possible,” Woods said.

“I also want to say that I stand behind what I believe in. The groups and individuals who push gender reassignment on children in our schools, and anyone else who is trying to normalize behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated, is unacceptable in my mind,” Woods continued.

“This is an agenda that is being forced on Oklahoma kids. My voting record speaks for itself. I supported legislation to keep men out of women’s sports and to protect children from being mutilated by transition surgery before they can make an informed decision,” Woods said.

“I will continue to push for a day when kids can be kids again and be free from the pressure of conforming to radical ideologies,” Woods concluded.

The top Republican in the Oklahoma State Senate, Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said Woods’ remarks on Friday were “reprehensible.”

“Senator Woods and I have spoken, and I made it clear that his remarks were reprehensible and inappropriate,” Treat said. “I am of the belief that all people are image-bearers of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. His remarks were not in any way reflective of myself, the Senate Republican caucus, Senate leadership or the Senate overall. In my opinion, he had a serious lapse of judgment and it has distracted from the mission and good work we are attempting to advance on behalf of all Oklahomans.”

Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, also released a statement about Woods’ comments on Friday.

“As elected officials, we are held to a higher standard. Words have consequences, and this kind of conduct is unbecoming of an elected official. It is our duty to represent and protect everyone, and not make things worse,” Floyd said.

FOX23 also reached out to Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, who said everyone needs to take a step back and cool down their rhetoric.

“I think language like that is very dangerous and has a deep and dark history in our country and around the world, we ought to be much more careful in our use of speech and we should never use a term like “filth” when we’re referring to citizens of Oklahoma,” Waldron said.


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