Advocates for LGBTQ Equal Treatment Urge Oklahoma Governor to Veto Discriminatory Bill Ahead of Final Debate

By Shane Stahl • April 27, 2018 • 11:34 am

On Thursday, by a vote of 61-25, the Oklahoma House passed SB 1140, dangerous adoption legislation that would allow child welfare and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people when placing children in a home by claiming a “religious or moral exemption.”

An amendment that defunds SB 1140, limiting its negative impact, survived a marathon of voting. However, some lawmakers are working hard to strip this amendment from the final bill, which now heads to conference committee.

Regardless of whether or not the amendment remains in the final bill, advocates in Oklahoma explain that the legislation would still write discrimination into Oklahoma law.

The bill is “discriminatory, harmful to youth and completely unnecessary,” said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma. “We will continue to fight against it becoming law, we will fight it in the court of public opinion, and we will fight it in court if necessary.”

The bill passed over the objections of child welfare and other community organizations who have said clearly that it will hurt, not help, the 9,000+ children in the state’s adoption and foster care system. If LGBTQ families are barred from adopting, all of the children waiting for loving homes will suffer. LGBTQ children, who could legally be refused help by these agencies, stand to suffer the most.

As the bill heads to conference committee, supporters of LGBTQ equal treatment are encouraging people to contact Governor Mary Fallin, encouraging her to veto the legislation should it land on her desk.

Freedom for All Americans is proud to stand with Freedom Oklahoma, the statewide organization committed to defending LGBTQ Oklahomans from discrimination and securing proactive wins for LGBTQ equal treatment.

Learn more about the path to LGBTQ nondiscrimination in Oklahoma here.

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