Jul 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First openly gay mayor of Oklahoma town resigns, citing threats and harassment

The Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The first openly gay mayor of a small town in Oklahoma said he is resigning this week after an increase in threats to his safety.

Driving the news: The Village Mayor Adam Graham, who took on the role in May, said that in the last month he has been "followed home from meetings, threatened while walking my dog, harassed at Starbucks and have had my tires slashed."

What he's saying: "Since 2018, I've fought against ageism, racism and homophobia at every step. ... Unfortunately, certain elements of the population have recently become emboldened to pursue threats and attacks bordering on violence," Graham wrote in a letter to the city manager, which he posted on Twitter.

  • The threats from the past month "resulted from an incident two months ago where I stood up against Nichols Hill Police targeting The Village residents."
  • "Unfortunately, these malicious, bad-faith attacks are escalating and I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity as Mayor. It's with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation effective immediately."

The big picture: Graham's resignation comes amid a larger wave of threats and violence against LGBTQ people across the country. Threats against elected officials — both national and local — have surged in recent years.

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