The Pryor Times

State News

November 18, 2011

Edmond pastor reports death threat after comments

EDMOND (AP) — Edmond police are investigating after a church pastor reported receiving death threats since speaking out against a proposal to add sexual orientation to Oklahoma City's equal employment protections, a police spokeswoman said Thursday.

Fairview Baptist Church pastor Paul Blair said the church office received 10 threatening phone calls starting at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, a day after he spoke against the proposal that was passed by the City Council on 7-2 vote.

Blair said the calls to the suburban Oklahoma City church became increasingly violent and threatening.

Investigators believe all the calls were made by the same person, said police spokeswoman Glynda Chu.

"We are looking into it. We are definitely investigating this incident," said Chu, who declined to comment further, including about whether the church's phones have caller identification.

FBI special agent Clay Simmonds in Oklahoma City said his office is not a part of the investigation.

The city's policy had already provided equal opportunity protection without regard to race, creed, ethnic origin, color, religion, disability, sex or age.

Blair said his opposition to adding sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination list is due to there being no evidence of discrimination based on sexual orientation and that it would create a special class of protection that he said is based on a person's behavior.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was out of town and not immediately available for comment Thursday.

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