FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2016
Contact: Troy Stevenson
Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 802-8229
Oklahoma City – There were three discriminatory bills scheduled for debate in Senate and House committees this morning. SB 1328 – the most discriminatory – was struck down in a bipartisan vote of 5 to 4 after a heated debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The other two bills – SB 898 and HB 2428 – were laid over for possible later consideration after legislators received unprecedented levels of constituent contact in opposition to the discriminatory legislation.
Representatives of Freedom Oklahoma, as well as the LGBTQ and business communities filled the chambers in opposition to the bills.
There are still 25 pieces of Anti-LGBTQ legislation still active in this legislative session, and Freedom Oklahoma will stay vigilant until they are all defeated. (See list of legislation at FreedomOklahoma.org)
Senate Judiciary Committee
Met at 9:30am
SB1328 by Senator Silk – “Oklahoma Right of Conscience Act” – defeated 5 – 4 (Senators Brooks, Thompson, Griffin, Floyd, and Sparks voted – no)
This license to discriminate would allow a legalized system of segregation by empowering business to refuse service to anyone based on bias. It redefines a “deeply held religious belief” as a personal prejudice rather than a fundamental principle of a religious community.
SB898 by Senator Brecheen – Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act (Laid over for possible later consideration)
Similar to SB 1328, this bill would allow for discrimination and bias to redefine a “deeply held religious belief” as a personal prejudice rather than a fundamental principle of a religious community, and remove the ability of the state to protect any minority community from said discrimination.
Children, Youth and Family Services Committee
Met at 10:30am
HB2428 by Representative Kern – “Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act” (Laid over for possible later consideration)
This piece of legislation targets children in state custody and homeless youth from being placed in homes. This attempt to stigmatize adoptive and foster parents who are members of minority communities or members of minority faith communities could result in more children in an overburdened foster care system.
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma executive director, Troy Stevenson:
“Senators from both the Republican and Democratic Parties sent a clear message this morning: the politics of distraction should not be the focus of this legislative session. We are proud of the Senators from both parties who stood up against this discriminatory legislation, and stood up for the best interest of Oklahoma. Our economy is in crisis, our bridges are crumbling, and our schools are being defunded. It is time to get our house in order, and quit trying to legislate hate.”
LIST OF LEGISLATION: