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Sharp Divide on Affirmative Action Ballot Question
Voters in Oklahoma will decide whether to end affirmative action in the state. The issue has a sharp divide of supporters and opponents.
"The measure does not allow affirmative action programs. Affirmative action programs give preferred treatment based on race, color or gender. They also give preferred treatment based on ethnicity or national origin. Discrimination on these bases is also not permitted.," State Question 759 reads.
A yes vote on the question would only prohibit affirmative action in state employment, education and contracting.
Opponents say allowing race preference programs is an issue of fairness. They say affirmative action allows opportunities for minorities that may otherwise come up.
"This is not a perfect world. in a perfect world we wouldn't need affirmative action," said Wallace Collins, the chair of the Oklahoma State Democratic Party. "We as Democrats, we believe that affirmative action simply means equal opportunity. Unfortunately the other side believes that affirmative action means quotas. We don't agree with that."
"I think there was a time for affirmative action. I think that time has passed.," said Dr. James Taylor, pastor of the University Christian Church in Norman, and supporter of 759 said.
Taylor said the issue is no longer relevant to younger generations.
The state question was propose by republican lawmakers last year. They agree with Taylor that affirmative action is no longer needed today.
Research from the University of California, Berkeley Law School show minorities have a disadvantage in Oklahoma.
"While it is unknown what the impact of the anti-affirmative action SQ 759 would be in Oklahoma, a helpful guide is the evidence from state that have already limited equal opportunity. Research from these state offers compelling evidence that affirmative action bans limit the opportunities available to people of color and women," the report reads.
State officials say Oklahoma no longer uses racial preference programs, so a change from a yes vote, would have little effect.
Similar affirmative action plans have been passed in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Washington and Arizona.
Posted: Sunday, October 21 2012, 10:18 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Wife guilty in Nichols Hills fire chief slaying
May 22, 2013 00:24 GMT
EL RENO, Okla. (AP) -- A jury in El Reno has convicted Rebecca Bryan of the murder of her husband, Nichols Hills Fire Chief Keith Bryan, and recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Jurors reached the Tuesday verdict after about four hours of deliberation.
The 54-year-old Bryan claimed an intruder had shot her husband, though police found her Ruger pistol in a clothes dryer in their home after the shooting.
The gun was matched to the bullet used to shoot Keith Bryan in 2011 at the couple's Mustang home. Police also found a spent shell casing and a left-handed rubber glove wrapped in a bullet-riddled blanket.
The Oklahoman reports (http://is.gd/mvC6Mi ) Bryan didn't display her emotions when the verdict was read. Her lawyer gave her a hug and told her he was sorry.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com
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