To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, May 24, 2024


Oklahoma’s Judicial ‘Peeping Tom’



Earlier this month, Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves denied a petition from a plaintiff who was requesting a new name.

Judge Graves used an extensive quote from his bedside reading table, the Christian Bible, to deny this simple request from a person who is preparing for sex-reassignment surgery.

Graves wrote in his opinion “It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ ”

Oklahoma voters in 2010 passed a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit the use of Islamic Sharia law in Oklahoma courts. Thanks to an appeal brought by the ACLU of Oklahoma it has been ruled by the Federal 10th Circuit Court as unconstitutional. And Oklahoma citizens are afraid of Sharia law being used in courts? But Christian myths proposed as valid legal argument are acceptable? Judge Graves has made a classic case of what theocracy looks like in Oklahoma.

Earlier in his opinion Judge Graves claims to have a made a scientific inquiry as to the validity of sex-reassignment surgery.

“Scientific” is a four-letter word in the vocabulary of Judge Graves and for him to use it trying to justify his official opinion is ludicrous.

It’s safe to say that Judge Graves holds his God’s law above any legislation passed by elected men and women in the Oklahoma Legislature.

The source of Graves’s “science” opinion is GOPer Rep. Mike Ritze, who claims a degree and experience in osteopathy.

Here is a criticism of osteopathy from the UK’s National Health Service: “According to the U.K. National Health Service, the use of osteopathy is not always based on science, and there is no good evidence that osteopathy is effective for any health condition other than back pain and helping recovery after hip or knee operations. There is no good evidence that osteopathy is an effective treatment for asthma, painful periods, shoulder pain, headaches or migraines, sinusitis, stress or depression, even though it is sometimes used for these conditions.”

I have seen checks written by Judge Graves with the handwritten insertion of “A.D.” on the date line and there is available on the Oklahoman newspaper website an official letterhead document from Graves’s judicial office with the printed insertion of “A.D.” on the dateline.

It’s all you need to know about the psyche of Judge Graves.

A photo of the letter as well as the homophobic reason Judge Graves used to justify writing the letter is at this link:

Judge Graves is an Oklahoma County state district judge and must be elected to a term in office every four years. One of the requirements is that a candidate for election must have an active law license and be admitted to practice in Oklahoma.

Unless Graves could be disbarred due to professional incompetence, bribery, or other provable criminal activity, this soul-mate of Sally Kern, archetypal enemy of human rights and civil equality, will in all likelihood be returned to office as often as he cares to take the trouble.

His public career has included 24 years as a GOPer representative in House District 84, now occupied by Sally Kern, who also bought her current house from Bill Graves. How’s that for continuity of discrimination and minority hatred? You can’t make this stuff up!

As a legislator Graves made it a point of honor that he was locally known as the most homophobic Oklahoman at the Capitol but with his elevation to county judge he has conceded that distasteful award to his successor, Sally Kern.

Graves is unapologetic with the public display of his discriminatory use of his religion as well as his judicial power towards the taxpayers of Oklahoma County who appear in his court.

In July 2008 Judge Graves had some reassignment surgery of his own, bureaucratically speaking. The docket assignments were re-arranged to more efficiency distribute the caseload.

At that time, Graves had 2,400 cases on his docket, an unusually high number. Perhaps this is an indication of incompetency that was finally recognized by the administrative judge?

He now has probate and other non-criminal cases to study.

Judge Graves seems intriguingly obsessed with the private lives of people who he will never meet especially if sex is involved.

His position on the court bench allows him the opportunity to legally become a Peeping Tom, spying on the plaintiffs and defendants standing before him.

Is he voyeuristically performing his idea of the heavenly Christian God of judgment, the God he so loyally worships here on earth?

James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer


Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.