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July 1, 2014

City council member receives death threats over documentary

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The calls came on the number posted on the city website to allow people in Ward 8 to contact Williams who serves as their council member.

“I’m having that number changed, and it will be off the website for a while,” he said.

He is grateful the city no longer posts home addresses.

While Williams’ believes being gay is a lifestyle choice and, therefore, does not deserve special protections under the law, he is open to dialogue to find ways to live peacefully in the same society.

“Where we can come together and work for the good of the other is where the dialogue needs to be,” Williams said.

He said there is no fence between himself and fellow Council member Tom Kovach, who is openly gay. Williams said he and Kovach are able to see past that point of disagreement.

“He’s the prime example of, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of world politics that we disagree on, but let’s make Norman better,’” Williams said.

Kovach said the hateful messages and calls do not represent the majority of those who support equal rights for gay citizens.

“I condemn the inappropriate actions against Chad (Williams),” Kovach said, “but I do not think that a group can be measured by the actions of a few miscreants.”

Kovach hopes people on both sides will show more tolerance in the future.

“Chad has the right to his views and beliefs without fear of being persecuted for them — he showed in his appearance on that panel that he was both brave to sit next to people who most likely wanted to confront him, and he showed compassion for them,” Kovach said.

Williams said he would not use threats or bullying against homosexuals and never has, even as a teen.

“The only time I would be mean to somebody is if they threatened my family,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me that people disagree with me — I don’t think they have to voice it through hate or threats.”

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