A vandal defaced the Lynn Riggs memorial mural at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in downtown Tulsa on Monday, according to a Facebook post by Oklahomans for Equality.

“On Monday, July 22nd, at 11:14 p.m. the Lynn Riggs Memorial Mural at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, the home of Oklahomans for Equality, was vandalized and under Oklahoma law, this is not a hate crime,” the post reads. “Lynn Riggs, a celebrated, gay playwright, was not silenced during his lifetime and we will not be silenced during ours. This is why we continue to fight and speak up against hate.”

The mural had “abomination” spray-painted across it, with more paint put on a parking sign and the mural itself. Tulsa Police were expected to take a report Tuesday afternoon, Equality Center CEO Toby Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the crime is frustrating because despite efforts in the state Legislature to change the law, the vandalism won’t be considered a hate crime.

It will be several days before the organization can begin to fix the damage without destroying the mural, Jenkins said.

Stetson Payne 918-732-8135


Twitter: @stetson__payne

Staff Writer

Stetson covers breaking news, general assignment and other stories. He previously worked at the Enterprise-Journal in Mississippi. He is from Broken Arrow and graduated with a journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. Phone: 918-581-8466