Philanthropist: Oklahoma deserves better than what some legislators are providing

Imagine living in a state where businesses can legally refuse to serve people based on their sexual orientation. Where parents can force their children to undergo conversion therapy to “cure” them of their “homosexual tendencies.” Where state officials can be prosecuted for carrying out their oath of office by issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

If you think this couldn’t happen in the 21st century, think again. These are proposed bills that await legislative action as Oklahoma lawmakers go back into session this month.

At present, Oklahoma has the highest number of anti-civil rights bills targeting one particular group since the height of the civil rights movement. In fact, this is the 23rd year in which legislators have introduced bills attacking the rights of LGBT individuals and attempting to deprive their families of the rights provided to all others.

I know that many proud Oklahomans who value human and civil rights share my outrage and deep concern about these legislative measures. The proposed bills turn LGBT Oklahomans and their families into second-class citizens while distracting lawmakers from the real issues we face.

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