update: 25 of the 27 anti-LGBTQ bills in Oklahoma are now dead!
On Februrary 22nd, after mounting pressure, SB1289 was pulled from consideration by its sponsor Senator Breechen before being heard by Senate General Govt. Committee. The bill would have prevented the people of a local community from passing their own laws. Indeed, Senator Brecheen thinks the state of Oklahoma should be stopping local laws he disagrees with – despite what the local community wants.
Why does this matter? In just the last few months, both Norman and Oklahoma City adopted protections for LGBTQ Oklahomans. Tulsa adopted housing protections earlier in 2015.
Every community is different and local government exists to reflect and reinforce unique needs and values. The state government does not always know what is best for every town and county. We need to protect local control and our right to make local decisions that will make our communities stronger.
A historic 27 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in Oklahoma this year, and Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, a Federation member, is not having it. “We will not rest on our victories, nor will we settle for holding the line and pushing back bad legislation. Bias and discrimination are alive and well in Oklahoma, and with your help we can build the legal protections needed to end it once and for all,” he said. We stand with him and all the fair-minded people of Oklahoma!
Equality Federation has been working with Freedom Oklahoma to provide strategy and and on-the-ground support. We’ve also conducted 3 trainings for transgender people to build upon their storytelling and advocacy skills.
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