I’m thinking of moving to Oklahoma, or, as I like to think of it, Oklahomo, after reading this week about a slate of new bills the state legislature is considering.
See, it looks like Oklahomo has no gun violence problem, no environmental issues, no economic concerns, no health troubles; it looks like it’s all good in Oklahomo, which is why I’ve suggested to Carlos that we move …except …
Since they have no other pressing issues in the state, the Oklahomo state legislature is preparing a slew of anti-LGBT measures because, well, it’s The Gays you know. In fact, Oklahomo has bested Texas for the most anti-LGBT measures before its legislature — there were 23 Hate Bills in the Lone Star state last year, but Oklahomo has some 26 pieces of hate pending:
HJR 1059 skips the committee process and doesn’t require the governor’s signature, but if approved by voters, it would amend the state constitution to allow any religious organization, private business, or individual to refuse to recognize any same-sex marriage and to be legally allowed to refuse to provide services and not be sued for discrimination. In addition, it guarantees that child-placing agencies would never be required to place a child with a family if it violated their religious beliefs.
HB 3044, proposed by anti-LGBT loon Sally Kern, bans school counselors, therapists, administrators, or teachers from providing students with guidance or information about “human sexuality” without notifying their parents, thus outing LGBT and LGBTQ students.
SB 1014 makes it illegal for a person to use a gender-specific restroom when that person’s biological gender is contrary to that of the gender-specific restroom.
HB 3049 bans transgender students from using sex-segregated facilities in accordance with their gender identities.
SB 1323 threatens school districts’ state aid if they accommodate a trans student; the only way a district could save its funding would be to reverse the policy and/or force trans students to use single-occupancy facilities.
SB 21 allows students to express religious viewpoints at any school event; the bill runs counter to anti-bullying policies that protect LGBT students if the bully claims that expressing their homophobic views was protected religious speech.
HB 1598 actually makes it illegal to ban ex-gay therapy.
HB 1371 says the state has no compelling interest in forcing anyone to “participate in any marriage ceremony, celebration, or other related activity or to provide items or services for such purposes against the person’s religious beliefs.”
SB 898 updates RFRA with provisions that make it clear that religious businesses can discriminate, even if it means violating local nondiscrimination practices.
SB 440 expands the definition of “religious entity” to include a privately-held business operating with a sincerely held religious belief.
SB 1289 says no municipality can pass a law that goes beyond what is set by state law, including the passage of LGBT anti-discrimination laws.
SB 1328 ensures that no individual would ever have to provide any service “used in a marriage ceremony or celebration of a specific lifestyle or behavior, or to promote, advertise, endorse or advocate for a specific marriage, lifestyle or behavior.”
HB 1597 is another piece of Sally Kern Hate and states that no business shall be required to provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges related to any LGBT person, group or association.
HR 1032 says that “natural marriage” between one man and one woman remains the law, regardless of any court decision — screw you, SCOTUS — to the contrary, and demands that the Attorney General to defend against marriage equality.
SB 973 prevents the government from funding the “licensing or support of same-sex marriage.” So, a county clerk issues a license for a same-sex couple to legally marry, he or she would no longer receive a salary.
SB 805 is another version of the “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act” that was introduced last year.
HB 1599, another version of the “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act” cuts off administrative support for same-sex marriage without technically banning it.
SB 811 ensures that ministers can officiate marriages even if they oppose the requirement of a state-issued marriage license.
SB 733 requires marrying couples to undergo a blood test to prove they do not have communicable syphilis or any other communicable disease; if a physician identifies a disease that is communicable — and that includes HIV, HPV and even the flu — the couple cannot obtain a marriage license.
SB 724 establishes covenant marriage — one man and one woman — in which couples undergo premarital counseling and accept limited conditions for divorce.
SB 478 guarantees that no individual or religious entity would ever have to recognize a same-sex couple’s marriage or provide any service related to that union if it violated their religious beliefs.
HB 1663, more Sally Kern Hate, creates a new section of law not to be codified in the state code called the “Marriage Act of Oklahoma.”
Wow, it’s all hate in Oklahoma it seems, though there is one tiny pinprick of light in one bill — yes, just the one — that actually does some good for LGBT people:
HB 1345 would create statewide employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, though it does not take up housing or public accommodations.
Really, Oklahomo? There is nothing else going on in your state you’re your elected officials have the time to create twenty-six pieces of proposed legislation, all of to allow discrimination of LGBT citizens? Is this what you want Oklahomo?
I don’t believe you do, and even if you do, are you willing to pay, via your taxes, when the state is sued by LGBT citizens, and the United States of America, for discrimination? That’s what will happen. And if you’re fine with your tax dollars going to pay off your state’s legal debts then sit tight and allow discrimination to become the law of the land.
But remember, those people allowing discrimination today are the very people who might face discrimination tomorrow, and who will stand up for you?