Oklahoma Legislators Push for Last-Ditch Effort to Discriminate Against Transgender People

By Adam Polaski • May 20, 2016 • 12:19 pm

This week in Oklahoma, lawmakers opposed to LGBT non-discrimination protections introduced legislation that targets transgender students and their ability to use the restroom at school.


The bill, SB1619, would force schools to create separate restroom accommodations for students who say they have a religious objection to sharing a sex-segregated space with transgender students. In effect, under this law, one student’s religious objections can force schools to spend millions of dollars building new restroom facilities.

Transgender students are not asking for special treatment when it comes to using the restroom – they are simply trying to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. But this bill WOULD force schools to give special treatment to students who object to sharing a restroom with a transgender student.

Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, the statewide organization working toward LGBT equality in Oklahoma, said today:

“In a time when our state is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, our lawmakers should be focused on righting the ship rather than stigmatizing transgender youth. Using school children to distract from the legislative quagmire should outrage the senses of every fair-minded Oklahoman. Freedom Oklahoma is calling on legislators to abandon this legislation before it adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the already $1.3 billion budget shortfall, and if they don’t, we will see them in court.”

Earlier this year in the Sooner State, Freedom Oklahoma led the charge to defeat the 27 anti-LGBT bills that were introduced there. The state had one of the most aggressive packages of anti-LGBT bills in the country, which saw nearly 200 bills introduced designed to roll back protections for the LGBT community or codify discrimination into state law.

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