The vehemently anti-gay Republican State Representative Sally Kern is trying to get three bills passed in the Oklahoma legislature that will significantly curtail the rights of LGBT citizens in the state. The three bills she introduced could make it difficult for those of the LGBT community to live in the Great Plains state.
Kern, who gained national attention after she claimed that the “homosexual agenda” was a larger threat to the United States than terrorism, introduced bills that target same-sex marriage, would allow wide-spread discrimination against gays, and allow parents to force their children into gay conversion therapy or counseling. Claiming to be a devout Christian, Kern wrote a book entitled The Stoning of Sally Kern: The Liberal Attack on Christian Conservatism — and Why We Must Take a Stand, which included her views on the gay community.
As Oklahoma City’s News 9 reported, the first of the three bills is House Bill 1599, called the “Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act,” seems to be in direct response to a federal court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in the state. The bill says that tax dollars could not be used to support same-sex marriage by issuing licenses or recognizing those marriages.
The measure goes on to say that any challenges to this bill in state court would have to be dismissed, and any judge who did entertain the challenge would be removed from the bench. The plaintiff in the case would be forced to pay for court costs and attorney fees for the defense.
Kern was unavailable for comment, but the executive director for the organization Oklahomans for Equality, Toby Jenkins, said the measures Kern is trying to pass are an assault on the gay community in the state.
“The courts have already ruled on the legality of same-sex marriages. To take our state backward a decade is obviously what our legislators are trying to accomplish.”
The second bill Kern introduced is HB 1598, and it would allow parents to send their LGBT minor children to a reparation counselor or therapist in an attempt to change their sexual orientation without state interference.
The bill minces no words.
“The people of this state have the right to seek and obtain counseling or conversion therapy from a mental health provider in order to control or end any unwanted sexual attraction, and no state agency shall infringe upon that right.”
As reported by Tulsa World, the third bill, HB 1597, would allow businesses to openly discriminate against any LGBT group, association, or individual. As reported by the Inquisitr, this is the same type of bill that passed in Arizona, but was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer because community and business leaders were concerned it would negatively impact the state’s economy.
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