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RELEASE: DLCC Condemns Oklahoma Republican Senator For Calling LGBTQ+ Oklahomans “Filth” While Referencing the Tragic Death of Nex Benedict

Press Releases

To protect fundamental freedoms across the country, we must vote out hateful Republicans

WASHINGTON — Following the tragic death of nonbinary Oklahoman Nex Benedict after they were reportedly bullied and beaten in a high school bathroom, Republican Oklahoma State Senator Tom Woods called LGBTQ+ Oklahomans “filth” when referencing Benedict’s death. 

“I represent a constituency that doesn’t want that filth in Oklahoma” – Republican Oklahoma State Senator Tom Woods

Make no mistake: the most disturbing thing in Oklahoma is state Republican lawmakers like Tom Woods, whose bigoted policies, words, and actions have made LGBTQ+ Oklahomans feel unsafe and unwanted in their state. Nex Benedict’s death is the latest in a long string of violence against LGBTQ+ folks. Oklahoma and 12 other states don’t include hate crime protections for gender identity or sexual orientation, while four states have no state-level hate crime protections at all. 

From criminalizing gender-affirming care to restricting bathroom use, the Republican-controlled legislature in Oklahoma has become a hotbed for anti-LGBTQ+ extremism. Oklahoma is unfortunately not unique – Nex’s tragic death highlights the dangerous landscape for LGBTQ+ people that Republicans in legislatures across the country are making worse every day. 

From Alabama’s appalling IVF ruling to Tom Woods’ disgusting comments, Republican lawmakers are hellbent on taking our fundamental freedoms away. 

The only way to stop the bigotry and hatred by state lawmakers is to elect Democrats in state legislatures everywhere. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“Nex Benedict’s death in Oklahoma is a tragedy and never should have happened. Republicans across the country continue to prioritize and pass extreme legislation that puts LGBTQ+ folks directly in danger. Our hearts break for Nex’s loved ones – they were taken too soon after facing senseless, bigoted violence, and their death has left the Oklahoma community reeling. 

“Oklahoma Senator Tom Woods’ comments are disgusting and appalling, but not surprising. The true threat in this country is state legislators like Tom Woods, who use their positions to create environments of hate and legislate our fundamental freedoms away. From Alabama’s IVF ruling to Oklahoma’s LGBTQ+ laws, our fundamental freedoms are under attack in the states. We must elect Democrats everywhere and create a society that allows people to be who they are and love who they want to love. The escalating anti-LGBTQ+ agenda of GOP legislators has deadly consequences. The DLCC will never back down to hate and we condemn Woods’ comments and actions in the strongest possible way.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.