Last 2 anti-LGBTQ bills fail in Oklahoma House

All anti-LGBT bills fail in Oklahoma legislature.

Last 2 anti-LGBTQ bills fail in Oklahoma House

By Rob Howard
Associate Editor

(Oklahoma City) The two remaining pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation failed this afternoon in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The two bills were Rep. Sally Kern’s HB 2428, which would make adoption by same-sex couples more difficult, and House Joint Resolution 1059, which would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to allow religious organizations, private businesses, and individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples.

They were the last of the 27 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation proposed by a small group of ultra-right wing legislators for consideration during this session. The bills failed because they did not pass the House before a legislative deadline that requires bills to be passed in their chamber of origin by March 11.

Troy Stevenson, the Executive Director of LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma, explained why all the bills failed. “I think the state of Oklahoma saw an unprecedented and historic amount of anti-LGBTQ legislation and fair-minded legislators saw right through it. They saw it was discrimination, and they made sure that none of it became law,” he said.

Stevenson praised the efforts of individuals, other organizations, and particularly legislators in defeating the bills. “We are proud of everyone that helped take part in this effort, from the grass-roots efforts to our organizational partners, to the legislators who took a stand. It was an impressive testament to how far LGBT rights have come in Oklahoma in the last couple of years, in the last decade even.”

He commented on the proposals and their fate, saying, “To the point where this amount of vitriol came from a handful of legislators and so many stood in its way and made sure that none of it, none of it, saw the light of day. This is the second year in a row that this has happened and the second year that Oklahoma has just said No to all these bad pieces of legislation.”

Most of the bills were dead on February 25, when bills that hadn’t cleared committee failed. A few of the bills were withdrawn by their authors when it because clear that they didn’t have the votes to pass in committee.

Taking note of the apparent success of similar bills in other states, Stevenson concluded, “At the same time where you see things moving forward in Missouri and Georgia, and states across the country, it’s not happening here, and it’s not going to happen here.”

 The Gayly - March 10, 2016 @ 7:25 p.m.