U.S. Attorney General Compares “Bathroom Laws” to Jim Crow Laws
Washington, DC – In a historic statement from United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, the Justice Department made its strongest statement yet about their intention to protect LGBTQ Americans, and specifically the transgender community. Going so far as to state:
“This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress to our nation,” Lynch said, citing the Jim Crow laws, resistance to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, and the proliferation of bans on same-sex marriages as examples.
But for the work of LGBTQ advocates and fair-minded legislators, Oklahoma could easily be in the same position as North Carolina and Mississippi. After the passage of HB2 in NC, and similar legislation in Mississippi, there has been an unprecedented backlash against the discriminatory legislation. This has cost millions of dollars in lost state revenue, international travel warnings, loss of convention revenue, corporations ending business relationships, and potential loss of federal funding for vital government operations.
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma executive director, Troy Stevenson:
“The only reason Oklahoma is not in the same horrible position that North Carolina now finds itself is the monumental advocacy of Oklahoma’s LGBTQ community, and the fair-minded legislators from both parties that saw these issues for what they would have been – a distraction and an embarrassment to the real problems facing our state. We applaud the Attorney General, and the Justice Department for taking such a strong stand in favor of freedom and justice for all.”
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma board member, Paula Sophia:
“The attorney general said the Department of Justice sees the transgender community, a huge statement for people like myself who have been encouraged, even forced, to hide from public view. To see us is to acknowledge our humanity, to count us as equal citizens under the law and deserving the protections promised to all Americans.”
Freedom Oklahoma is Oklahoma’s statewide LGBQT advocacy organization and a proud member of the Equality Federation. Freedom Oklahoma represents both the “Freedom Oklahoma Action Fund” a 501(c)4 organization that lobbies for pro-equality legislation and public policies; and the “The Freedom Oklahoma Education Campaign,” a 501(c)3 organization that engages in public education in support of the LGBTQ community.