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Enid, Oklahoma Politician Gary James Makes No Apologies for Bias

Gary James, an Enid, Oklahoma restaurant owner, who is running for a spot on the City Council, has come under scrutiny for his racist and homophobic remarks, and the policies at his establishment, the Chicaro Club.

Watch the news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Garyjames_2Reports News 9: "James, who is also running for a spot on the Enid City Council, is keeping out what he calls 'trash' and 'people on welfare.' Earlier this week, he told the local paper anyone who wears a hat inside a building is gay, and will be asked to leave. James said he isn't homophobic or racist. He just refuses to allow anyone who makes him or his customers uneasy inside his business."

Last week, Enid News reported: "James reportedly has asked black people and people he believes are homosexual to leave his establishment. James said he has asked people to leave the bar, but it is not based on race or sexual orientation. However, he does have some strong words to describe those he won’t allow in his establishment, calling them 'trash' and 'faggots.' ... 'If a racist is someone who doesn’t like unproductive trash, then it’s true. I’m talking about white, black, brown or yellow. I don’t like unproductive people,' James said Monday. 'People who know me, know better.' He said he has never asked anyone to leave his club based solely on their race, and said he has asked many more white customers than black customers to leave because they caused a problem. He said he has asked customers to leave who are wearing clothes he does not approve of. 'I don’t like girlie men. I’m not fond of men with all kinds of metal in their face,' he said. 'My customers don’t want them around, and I don’t want them around. I don’t consider that racist. I have black friends, but they are productive. Guys who come in with their britches down to their knees won’t get served in my place.'"

Given this information and what we know about politics in Oklahoma, we think he's got a pretty good shot. The election is February 10. And by the way, Oklahoma does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Watch the local news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Senator James Inhofe Gay Bashing Again in New Ad [tr]
Sally Kern: A Judeo-Christian Warrior with a Loaded Gun [tr]
Brent Rinehart Says He Doesn't Know What 'Homophobic' Means [tr]

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  1. "britches" and he says he's not a racist!!

    Posted by: Joe | Feb 3, 2009 1:28:26 PM

  2. "I have black friends, but they are productive."

    I don't know why, but that made me laugh. It's kind of a step up from the usual "I'm not racist. I have black friends." And it kind of felt like there was more to that statement. "They're productive. Not like those damn Mexicans." *

    God, what a tool.

    *Disclaimer - Not racist. Have Mexican friends who are productive.

    Posted by: Mara | Feb 3, 2009 1:41:53 PM

  3. "I’m not fond of men with all kinds of metal in their face..."

    ^ UM...earrings? or braces? i'm not sure what he means here

    Posted by: liz templin | Feb 3, 2009 1:45:16 PM

  4. at least he's an equal opportunity bigot!

    Posted by: doug | Feb 3, 2009 1:47:21 PM

  5. He owns a business and he is against those that receive welfare..wonder if he has ever gotten any sort of grant or small business break...oh and return any social security ..because its a myth that it is your money...any social security you get is more debt on the nation..i could go on

    Posted by: kuros | Feb 3, 2009 1:51:47 PM

  6. 'anyone who wears a hat inside a building is gay'

    what a fucking idiot. besides, in my experience the complete opposite is true.

    Posted by: ryan | Feb 3, 2009 1:52:43 PM

  7. Enid is a sh!thole. I love all this Oklahoma reporting, Andy, but unfortunately most people in Oklahoma don't even know what a blog is, let alone read one, let alone read a gay one. I know the falling real estate prices are killing everyone else, but its very hopeful for us homos here in Oklahoma, it looks like we might be able to afford to leave one of these days!

    Posted by: clint | Feb 3, 2009 1:55:11 PM

  8. Sounds like a shoe-in to me.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Feb 3, 2009 1:58:36 PM

  9. Ah, Oklahoma, home of Sally Kern and rife with ex-gay ministries:

    GArY James is a lightweight compared to what I've seen crawling around in this backwards state.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Feb 3, 2009 2:04:52 PM

  10. What happened to Laurie and Curly and Aunt Eller and "I'm just a girl who can't say 'No'?" It sounnds like OK is all Judd Frye now.

    Posted by: BeauChance | Feb 3, 2009 2:15:35 PM

  11. Jesus. Not again. There are good people here. Really.

    Posted by: Eddie | Feb 3, 2009 2:22:53 PM

  12. There does seem to be a lot of Oklahoma reporting lately. I grew up there. Lemme tell ya, it was a rough thing growing up in small town Oklahoma as an obviously flamboyant child. If it hadn't been for my quick wit, I'd have been pummeled into the red dirt of Stillwater more times than I can count.

    After making it through high school, I stunned my folks by choosing to stay in Stillwater for college. I chose to stay for the first couple years because (a) Juilliard was too expensive and (b) moving to NYC in 1988 in the middle of the AIDS bloodbath was maybe not a good idea for a very sheltered and very horny 18 year old blonde southern boy.

    It amazed me that, after starting at OSU, the people were not nearly as homophobic as I had experienced in high school. There was plenty of bias, to be sure... it was the 80s after all... but I'd say 75% of the people I met were very cool. I ended up staying until I left for grad school... the friendship and cameraderie I enjoyed in college went a long way toward correcting (almost) the pain of what had happened before.

    Nowadays, things have moved forward. There's an active gay-straight alliance at my former high school, and anti-gay bullying is not permitted. There are many GLBT organizations at OSU. There may not be a gay pride parade, but it's not the same place that I wanted so much to flee when I was a pup.

    There are lots of good, smart, honorable people in Oklahoma. And they're not all in the college towns or in the cities. There are plenty of people like this Enid idiot in Oklahoma (and in northern cities too), but please remember that progress is slowly evolving there too.

    I can't believe I'm standing up for Oklahoma. Honestly. and Beachance, please note that "Oklahoma" (the title song from the musical) is the state song. We all had to learn it in junior high. Truth. So there's a lot more Curly down there than Judd Frye.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2009 3:14:31 PM

  13. Isn't it just a little "faggotty" being a barmaid...gossipping and wiping your little formica counter and serving cold drinks to all the menfolk who do real men's work all day? Isn't that the role of a housewife?

    Posted by: paul c | Feb 3, 2009 3:35:49 PM

  14. One of the many, many reasons I left a good paying job in Oklahoma ... what an armpit of humanity that place is. A church on every corner ... filled with bigots like this. Yuk.

    Posted by: craig | Feb 3, 2009 3:47:08 PM

  15. I used to work for a trucking company in Tulsa. As a joke, one of the training department supervisors put a gay student with a well-known homophobe. He found out the student was gay on the last day of his training, and it took five men to pull him off of the student. He was almost killed. It wasn't such a "joke" after that.

    The same supervisor was running around a few years later, calling everyone out in the office for being "sinners." He suddenly disappeared, to show up in a different department in a different building a few blocks away. "No, really, got tired of training and customer service is great!"

    Two years later I found out the truth. He was cheating on his wife with one of the secretaries, and found out one of the vice presidents was also cheating on his wife ... with the same secretary. This guy almost got fired and that's what the transfer was about.

    Amazing. I wonder what's in this freak's closet. Literally. Feather boas? Bedazzlers? Yes, they're fine, wonderful people back there, until they find you're not "one of them," straight, Baptist. Then you're sunk.

    Posted by: craig | Feb 3, 2009 3:54:57 PM

  16. You can go to a southern baptist church or a trucking company in any part of the United States and have a similar experience. It sucks, but it's not specific to Oklahoma.

    There are plenty of intelligent, reasonable, good people there.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2009 4:08:41 PM

  17. Isn't Oklahoma, along with Idaho, Wyoming and Utah one of the few totally all red states left? Besides, Gary looks like a bitter old queen to me.

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 3, 2009 4:10:25 PM

  18. His honesty is rather refreshing, I'd say, considering the current head of the Republican Party who wants to reach out to gays while denying us our rights, and Barack Obama who shows every indication of not lifting finger one when it comes to delivering on his campaign promises to us.

    This guy hates fags, and doesn't care who knows it. Yeah, he's a pig, but he's an honest pig.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Feb 3, 2009 4:11:16 PM

  19. God, I am so ashamed to live in Oklahoma sometimes. Ugh.

    Posted by: Aaron | Feb 3, 2009 4:50:47 PM

  20. @Milkman: Is anyone really so prejudiced that they're against Oklahomans? Do we really still have to list the virtues of Oklahomans on the comments section? I will just never understand the things that people choose to get their panties all in a bunch about.

    Posted by: milkmanrevisited | Feb 3, 2009 5:08:15 PM

  21. I love that he's unapologetic in his stance. However, "limp wrist?!" He would be pretty surprised when some Rugby-playing Silverlake (Los Angeles) "Faggot" kicks his sorry ass.

    Posted by: Wil | Feb 3, 2009 5:09:19 PM

  22. I'm not sure "refreshing" is the first word I'd use to describe his honesty, Roscoe. (Do people who commit hate crimes in broad daylight get special credit for doing it openly? Does that mean you'd rather have him as President than Obama?) But I am going to start wearing hats indoors. P.S. In the video still he totally looks like an old dyke.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 3, 2009 5:12:58 PM

  23. Who cares about this stupid Okie? Who would want to go into his shithole establishment? This is a non-story not even worth our time. Some dumb redneck hates everybody, what else is new? If not for the internet, no one outside of the viewing area would know about it. Let him, and Sally Kern, go fuck themselves. The impact of these stupid hicks on my life is absolute zero.

    Posted by: Jim | Feb 3, 2009 6:57:00 PM

  24. @Jim,
    I can agree with your statement about who cares. On a certain level. On the major whole, it serves as a reminder to those of us who live in more accepting communities/cities that not everyone has that luxury of being themselves where ever they may go. Just my thought and opinion.

    Posted by: Crash | Feb 3, 2009 8:29:45 PM

  25. I don't know about the trucking company stuff. The one I work for in Tucson is just great, quite open and pretty fully accepted here. Besides, it wasn't the company in Tulsa that was the problem. It was the people in Oklahoma. Just quite frankly felt dirty contributing to their economy after they put up with idiocy like this and say nothing. That's the problem: saying nothing. BTW, glad I got my 82 year old mother the heck out of her Baptist church and into our super gay friendly Episcopal one here. She couldn't take the hate there either and we are all so proud of her in the new church.

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 3, 2009 9:00:06 PM

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