OK Senator accuses LGBT activist of orchestrating "death threats"

Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson - accused of death threats. Photo by Robin Dorner.

(Oklahoma City) Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk created national outrage last week after being interviewed about his license to discriminate bill, SB 440. The quote that sparked a national outcry was: “They don’t have a right to be served in every single store,” – referencing the LGBT Community.

It seems that the public response has taken a toll on the Senator. This week he went so far as to make unfounded and slanderous accusations against Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson on a right-wing blog site (link below). In the article Silk claims that there have been death threats made against his children, and made the following accusation of Stevenson:

“Silk strongly suspects that Stevenson was responsible for leaking the cabin business information shortly after they met in order to encourage activists to send harassing messages. Silk said he is "very certain" it was Stevenson because "he has family ties to that community in our same industry [and] that is the only way people could know that."

Freedom Oklahoma is Oklahoma's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and a member of the national group, The Equality Federation.

The meeting Senator Silk refers to, was attended by Stevenson, Ryan Kiesel (executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma) and Amanda Snipes (advocacy director of Freedom Oklahoma) – the meeting lasted over half an hour, and according to Freedom OK staff, was civil. 

“First, if Senator Silk has indeed received threats, they should be investigated and prosecuted,” said Stevenson. “Freedom Oklahoma is calling on the proper authorities to investigate these alleged threats, immediately. If threats were made, they did not come from us and we will strongly condemn anyone who made them.”

Stevenson will be at the Capitol this morning and plans to drop by the Senator’s office to discuss his accusations.

“While our meeting with Senator Silk featured many disagreements ranging from the Senator's current legislation that would endorse economic segregation to the wisdom of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the meeting and advocacy since that meeting has always been civil,” added Kiesel. “I am shocked by this allegation and give Senator Silk the benefit of the doubt that it his statements were twisted out of context. In which case, I suspect he will take the earliest opportunity to set the record straight.”

Stevenson concluded by saying, “I find it deeply concerning that Senator Silk – who has my phone number – would make these unfounded and outrageous accusations against my organization and myself. While we disagree with the Senator on many issues, we have had civil conversations, and do not understand why he did not simply reach out to us if he had these concerns.”


Freedom Oklahoma is Oklahoma's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and a proud member of the Equality Federation. Freedom Oklahoma is the unified organization resulting from the merger of The Equality Network, a 501 (c) (4) organization that lobbies for pro-equality legislation and public policies; and the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization that engaged in public education in support of the LGBT community.

Published by The Gayly 3/12/2015 @10:30am