Oklahoma senator calls LGBTQ+ people "filth" while commenting on death of Nex Benedict

 Motortion/Getty Images
Motortion/Getty Images

During a legislative forum in Oklahoma on Friday sponsored by the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Tom Woods, R-Westville, commented on the death of 16-year-old nonbinary student Nex Benedict following an attack that took place on February 7 at Owasso High School, saying, "I represent a constituency that doesn't want that filth in Oklahoma," meaning gender fluidity, not apparent murder.

Joined by other area lawmakers in addressing the tragic event that is still under investigation, Woods said in an earlier statement that his "heart goes out, in that scenario, if that is the case," in reference to allegations that brute force on the part of three older girls who ganged up on Benedict in a bathroom at the school and banged their head against the floor may have caused them to black out and, ultimately, die in a local hospital a day later.

According to reporting by The Daily Press, Woods' comments came after a woman in attendance at the forum asked, "Why does the legislature have such an obsession with the LGBTQ citizens of Oklahoma and what people do in their personal lives and how they raise their children?” To which he responded with the above, along with, "We are a Republican state and I’m going to vote my district, and I’m going to vote my values," emphasizing the moral and Christian fortitude of the Republican way of life in Oklahoma that he aims to represent.

State Rep. David Hardin claimed to have no knowledge of what happened with Benedict at all, saying, “That’s horrible. I don’t know about that case but I’ll check into it.”

On Wednesday, the Owasso Police issued a statement on Benedict's death saying, "While the investigation continues into the altercation, preliminary information from the medical examiner’s office is that a complete autopsy was performed and indicated that the decedent did not die as a result of trauma. At this time, any further comments on the cause of death are currently pending until toxicology results and other ancillary testing results are received. The official autopsy report will be available at a later date." But the child's mother, along with many others who are following the case, are not in alignment with that statement.

In a text exchange with Popular Information, Sue Benedict, Nex's mother, said she considered the Owasso Police statement a "big cover" and believed it was only released as "something to calm the people."

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In newly released bodycam footage of a school resource officer's interview with Nex and their mother at the hospital following the attack at the school, a first-hand account is given of what took place on the day in question, resulting in the last story that Nex will ever tell.

"I got jumped," Nex tells the officer.

And when asked why they didn't report the incident to school officials, Nex says, "I didn't really see the point."