An Oklahoma state representative who says she is “non-binary” was censured Tuesday for hiding an individual in her office who was the subject of a police search.
Last week, the House approved a bill banning certain types of transgender-related procedures for minors, according to Fox News.
“We are going to protect children under the age of 18 from undergoing these very dangerous, and in many times irreversible treatments that we know from reading and research can cause serious side effects and physical problems later in life,” state Sen. Julie Daniels said, according to KOKH-TV.
After the House vote, a protester who opposed the bill sprayed water on a legislator and slapped a state trooper, according to KOCO-TV.
Democratic state Rep. Mauree Turner of Oklahoma City refused to allow law enforcement into her office, where she harbored the individual.
“When we go up to the representative’s office, we were not allowed in, even from opening the door,” Trooper Eric Foster said, according to the Associated Press.
Troopers were able to speak to the individual, who later emerged and was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, Foster said.
House Speaker Charles McCall explained the censure in a news release.
“I want to make something very clear: I will not allow members of the House of Representatives to use their House-assigned offices and official positions to impede law enforcement from carrying out investigations or making arrests in the state Capitol,” he said, KOCO-TV reported.
“Our law enforcement officers leave their homes every day to serve and protect us, never knowing if it might be the last time they see their families. The House stands by our law enforcement and will not allow what is an already dangerous and unpredictable job to become more dangerous due to the actions of a member of our body.
“The inappropriate, and potentially criminal, actions exhibited by this member of the House were deserving of censure, and the actions taken by the House today were both measured and just,” he concluded.
The censure vote yanked Turner off of all committees to which she had been assigned unless she issues a formal apology, including one to the Highway Patrol, according to AP.
— Tyler Talley (@tylertalley22) March 7, 2023
Turner said that is not in the plan.
“I think an apology for loving the people of Oklahoma is something that I cannot do. It’s something that I actively refuse to do,” she said.
When I walk into the chamber and there’s a gaggle of troopers talking about me, I think about how Republicans have use every resource in their *power to make this place unsafe to Trans Oklahomans.
To Us. To Me.
— Mauree Turner | They / Them (@MaureeTurnerOK) March 7, 2023
“I just provide my office as a space of grace and love for all the folks in all communities that seek refuge from the hate in this building,” Turner said. “Trans people don’t feel safe here.”
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