Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Bryce Marlatt has been charged with sexual battery against an Uber driver, becoming the third Republican in that state to resign under criminal investigation this year.
Bryce Marlatt, a Republican state senator from Oklahoma, has been charged with sexual battery of an Uber driver, and has resigned from the legislature as a result. Marlatt is the third Republican in that state's governing body to resign this year after coming under criminal investigation. A fourth Republican, who worked an aide to the governor, also resigned in the wake of criminal charges of sexual misconduct.
The Oklahoman reports that Marlatt has been "accused of forcefully grabbing a female Uber driver and kissing her on the neck while she was driving." He is also accused of making sexual advances toward the driver, who told police that Marlatt told her, "Hey you got nice t---" when she picked him up after he requested a ride.
Republicans dominate Oklahoma's government: 113 of the 149 members of the Oklahoma House and Senate are Republicans. The party also holds the governorship and all the U.S. Senate and House seats.
Oklahoma's two senators have been ranked recently in the top five the most conservative members, with infamous climate change denier James Inhofe ranked highest in the entire country.
Other Oklahoma Republicans who have resigned in disgrace for sexual misconduct include:
- Travis Goss Brauer, former aide to Gov. Mary Fallin, who was investigated after allegations that he took a photo or video up a woman's skirt inside the State Capitol. He is now facing charges that he destroyed or altered the cell phone and a laptop that were part of the investigation.
- State Sen. Ralph Shortey has been charged with child sex trafficking and producing and transporting child pornography, as well as a charge of soliciting prostitution from a 17-year-old boy.
- State Rep. Dan Kirby, who resigned after being accused of sexually harassing two of his former legislative assistants. Kirby has admitted that he asked one aide to send him topless photos and go with him to a strip club.
In the same year Oklahoma Republicans have gone on their spree of sexual misconduct, the legislature has been focused on pushing laws favored by the so-called religious right. Four anti-LGBT bills have been introduced, along with 11 anti-abortion bills.
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, summed up the Oklahoma GOP's fixations in a comment to The Gayly.
"Multiple anti-LGBTQ bills; multiple bills trying to limit what is decided law – a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body; and multiple bills on immigration, which is a federal issue," he said. "There is even a bill allowing Oklahoma to secede from the union. All of which is absolute lunacy."
Maybe Oklahoma Republicans should do some more to control their own vices and obsessions, and spend less time trying to legislate and hurt innocent citizens.