Oklahoma Rep. proposes pointed amendment to anti-gay bill

Oklahoma Representative Emily Virgin. Official photo.

Oklahoma City – Representative Emily Virgin, in consultation with Freedom Oklahoma and the ACLU of Oklahoma, has proposed an amendment to HB 1371 – “The Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.” This bill would allow businesses operating in the marriage industry to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

Representative Virgin’s amendment would save minority couples from facing the indignity of being refused service by requiring a public posting of the refusal of service to specific members of the community.

Language of the amendment: "B.  Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites.  The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race."

“Thank you to Representative Virgin for calling out the level of segregation allowed under this legislation," said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of LGBT advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma. "If the state of Oklahoma is going to protect discrimination, then at the very least, businesses should be required to own their bias, and post it publicly for the world to see.”

“Representative Virgin’s amendment very pointedly exposes the absurdity of creating a new era of legalized segregation,” ACLU of Oklahoma Director, Ryan Kiesel.



Freedom Oklahoma is Oklahoma's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and a proud member of the Equality Federation. Freedom Oklahoma is the unified organization resulting from the merger of The Equality Network, a 501 (c) (4) organization that lobbies for pro-equality legislation and public policies; and the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization that engaged in public education in support of the LGBT community.

Published - The Gayly - 3/10/2015 @ 12:45pm.