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Tulsa LGBTQ community celebrates Supreme Court decision

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 23:20:12-04

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s LGBTQ community is celebrating a Supreme Court decision that offers job security. The high court ruled Monday that employers cannot fire someone for their sexual orientation.

“I mean, it’s like one of those things we’ve been working on for so many years," Kelly Kirby said. "And one of the things we thought would come before things like marriage.”

The decision is especially important for Kirby. Nearly 30 years ago, he was the chief financial officer for a company in Tulsa and was suddenly fired for being gay.

“Actually got my picture in the paper at a candlelight ceremony for World AIDS Day," he said. "Didn’t know it. Didn’t know I was getting my picture taken. But the next day I lost my job.”

Members of the Tulsa community celebrated the Supreme Court decision Monday night with a car rally led by Oklahomans for Equality. Dennis Neill started the organization 40-years ago wanting to make people more comfortable with their identity. And now, he’s celebrating a huge milestone for his community.

“It’s just so important to recognize in this 40 year period that now so many people are now comfortable with their families, their friends and their faith," Neill said.

However, those at the rally said the work isn’t over, especially as the push for social justice continues across the country.

“We’ve seen a tremendous movement on Black Lives Matter," Neill said. "Of people coming together of all faiths, of all races, of all creeds, saying things are not right in this country. We have got to work together to fix the inequality.”

“There are still issues and we’ll keep working on them," Kirby said. "Yeah, because, I mean, the point is we want everybody to be treated equally.”

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