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Welcome me home, Mary Fallin

Gazette staff October 9th, 2013

A 33-year-old gay man is pleading with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to let him come home.

Dillon Peña, a makeup artist living in New York City, recently wrote an open letter to Fallin about Oklahoma’s prejudice and hate toward homosexuals. Peña’s letter was sparked, in part, by Fallin’s decision to deny Oklahoma National Guard spousal benefits to same-sex couples. The letter has since gone viral.

“If I was (a) member of the Oklahoma National Guard, I again would be reminded that somehow my sacrifice was not equal to that of others solely because I love a man and not a woman.”

The self-described third-generation Oklahoman wrote, “Governor, it pains me understanding that when you didn’t know I was gay, I was considered equal. It pains me to know that my beloved Oklahoma appears to be like 1960s Alabama — not moving forward, but rather, stagnantly marinating in prejudice and inequality no longer suited for our country. … Maybe someday I, along with many others who fled the state, will be able to return to the place we call home.”

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor’s decision is a matter of law: “I think Governor Fallin would say she’s serving her constituents (and) that she wants to serve people of all religions, all genders, regardless of sexuality, regardless of race.”

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