Oklahoma Senate Passes Discriminatory Anti-LGBTQ Adoption BillBy Shane Stahl • March 15, 2018 • 9:09 am
On Tuesday, March 13, the Oklahoma State Senate voted 35-9 to pass an adoption bill, SB 1140, that would allow adoption agencies, including those funded by taxpayer dollars, to discriminate against LGBTQ couples and individuals when placing children in adoptive homes by claiming a religious or moral exemption.
The legislation is very similar to a bill passed by the Georgia State Senate in February, HB 375, which has sparked statewide outrage. That bill also allows religious and moral exemptions to factor into consideration when placing children with adoptive or foster parents.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat is SB 1140’s author, and he claims his bill will increase the number of adoptions in the state. However, opponents of the bill and supporters of LGBTQ equal treatment say it will a have a negative impact on the thousands of children currently in the state’s adoption and foster care systems.
“Bills such as SB 1140 are a clear attempt to solve a ‘problem’ that simply doesn’t exist while enshrining anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law,” said Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign.
Additionally, Sen. Kevin Matthews of Tulsa offered:
“It is unsafe to pass laws just because of personal beliefs that may discriminate against others doing something that is not illegal.”
The bill now moves to the House for a vote. Several anti-LGBTQ bills have ben introduced in legislatures across the country this session. To follow all current and pending legislation, visit our Legislative Tracker.