Oklahoma state senator blasted after saying LGBTQ+ ‘filth’ doesn’t belong in ‘Christian state’

GOP state Sen. Tom Woods sparked outrage after responding to a question about the death of nonbinary teen Nex Benedict by calling LGBTQ+ people ‘filth.’

Oklahoma Republican State Senator Tom Woods sparked outrage after referring to LGBTQ people as “filth” during a public forum on Friday. The comments were made in response to a question about state bills aimed at restricting the rights of transgender individuals and the recent death of Nex Benedict, a local nonbinary student.

Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled legislature has introduced a significant number of anti-LGBTQ bills, with 35 introduced last year and 54 this year, including measures targeting gender-affirming care and bathroom use restrictions, according to the ACLU.

The death of Benedict, who died after being assaulted in a school bathroom, has generated further scrutiny about the impact of these laws on transgender individuals in the state.

Woods’ remarks came during a panel discussion with other Republican state legislators, including Senators Blake “Cowboy” Stephens and Dewayne Pemberton, and Representative David Hardin. The question that prompted Woods’ comments was posed by an audience member, Cathy Cott, who inquired about the legislature’s focus on LGBTQ+ citizens and their personal lives.