Rep. Virgin proposes pointed amendment to license to discriminate bill March 10, 2015  •  12:00 pm

Contact: Troy Stevenson
Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
tstevenson@theequalitynetwork.org | (405) 802-8229
 
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. Here is the 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.
 
The following statement can be attributed to Troy Stevenson, executive director – Freedom Oklahoma:
 
“Thank you to Representative Virgin for calling out the level of segregation allowed under this legislation. 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.”
 
The following statement can be attributed to Ryan Kiesel, executive director – ACLU of Oklahoma:
 
“Representative Virgin’s amendment very pointedly exposes the absurdity of creating a new era of legalized segregation.”
 
BACKGROUND:
 
http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20FLR/HFLR/HB1371%20HFLR.PDF
 
http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20FLOOR%20AMENDMENTS/House/HB1371%20FA1%20VIRGINEM-AM.PDF


This Story: 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.
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