Oklahoma Town’s First Openly Gay Mayor Forced to Resign Following Constant Harassment
Due to constant harassment and out of fear for his safety, Adam Graham, the first open gay mayor of The Village, Okla., has resigned after only two months on job.
"For almost five years, I've proudly served The Village as Councilmember and Mayor. It's been an honor to serve and it's been my great privilege to break boundaries," Graham announced via Twitter July 18, revealing his resignation.
Graham, who was elected as mayor in May, shared he became the target of homophobic harassment and threats over the past two months.
"Since 2018, I've fought against ageism, racism and homophobia at every step. I was proud that The Village was ready for a young voice and for new ideas. Unfortunately, certain elements of the population have recently become emboldened to pursue threats and attacks bordering on violence," he continued. "In the last month, I've been followed home from meetings, threatened while walking my dog, harassed at Starbucks and have had my tires slashed."
Graham also noted a May 28 incident during which he shared tense words with police officers from nearby town Nichols Hills.
"This resulted from an incident two months ago where I stood up against Nichols Hills Police targeting The Village residents," he wrote. "I will never apologize for standing up for the people I was elected to serve. I will never understand why some officials are more concerned with representing the interests of Nichols Hills than the interests of their constituents."
During the incident, Graham demanded officers "get out" and informed them they were not authorized to give traffic tickets within the city limits of The Village, according to body cam footage obtained by NBC News.
Graham concluded his message saying he felt he could no longer serve the town after the ordeal: "Unfortunately, these malicious, bad-faith attacks are escalating and I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity as Mayor. It's with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation effective immediately."
Graham currently plans to live his life as a private citizen who "will work to make sure the best possible people are elected to service in city government."
It appears he is currently working at campaign management firm Bison Campaigns.