5 States Still Trying to Legislate the Gay Away

As the United States marches toward equal rights for LGBT citizens, there are still a handful of states that are dragging their heels. These are the states that, when they see fellow states pass gay-friendly laws, attempt to counter this progress by setting back the rights of homosexuals with laws of their own.

Sadly, these reactionary laws are fear-based. The laws may be designed appeal to conservative voters, but they come at the expense of gay Americans who are being used as pawns. Below are some of the states that history will frown upon:

1. Indiana

Indiana’s Senate just took an obnoxious step when it overwhelmingly approved new “religious freedom” legislation, heralded by its supporters as protection for people with “strong religious beliefs.” (Something tells me, though, that Muslims need not apply.)

Doesn’t the Constitution already guarantee religious freedom, you might ask? Yes, but this law gives Indiana residents the extra benefit of being able to discriminate against the LGBT community. Under this law, people with strong religious attitudes will be able to deny LGBT people goods and services. Isn’t it funny how legislation purportedly about religious freedom actually boils down to approving discrimination against a minority?

2. Arkansas 

Speaking of legal discrimination, Arkansas is already on top of that. When towns began passing their own ordinances to protect members of the LGBT community from housing and job discrimination, conservatives in the state passed “emergency” legislation this month in order to prevent such protections. According to the politicians, it’s not that they want to encourage discrimination against gays, they just worry that gay people would start filing frivolous lawsuits which would hurt businesses. Yeah… it’s about businesses. That’s it.

Though plenty of people urged the governor to veto the bill, this legislation has now officially became law after the Governor Asa Hutchinson failed to act.

3. Oklahoma

When State Representative Sally Kern heard that other states were considering restricting gay conversion counseling, a discredited and unproven form of therapy that attempts to turn homosexual people into heterosexuals, she drafted legislation of her own for the state of Oklahoma “protecting” this kind of treatment.

To be clear, there was no momentum whatsoever in her state to ban this type of counseling, yet Kern wanted to preemptively pass a law to prevent any future attempts to take away a parent’s God-given right to put their gay children through hell by trying to change them through bogus, unsubstantiated therapy. Naturally, this law quickly passed through the Oklahoma House committee thanks to Republican support.

4. & 5. Florida and Texas

Have you heard about cities that are expanding access to restrooms to be more inclusive of transgender people? Well, Frank Artiles, a Florida State Representative has and he’s not a fan. In fact, he recently introduced a bill that would criminalize trans people who used public bathrooms that didn’t correspond with the sex they were when they were born. Offenders could face a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail.

Despite a lot of outcry for this legislation, Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle liked the idea so much that she brought it to her own state, and added even harsher punishments: $4,000 and up to a year in prison. Additionally, building managers who “allow” trans people to use the bathrooms they identify with face even steeper repercussions. Surely these lawmakers should have better issues to tackle than which toilet people choose to urinate in.

Image credit: Thinkstock.

76 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

Why is it the government's business to decide who someone can love?

Get the government out of our lives.

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Winn Adams
Winn A2 years ago

These states need to come out of the dark ages and see the light of day. There is nothing wrong with LGBT. NEVER has been, NEVER will be . . . .

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Cherish H.
Cherish H2 years ago

What a joke! They seriously need to pay attention and get with the program... they won't be able to stop it forever!

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Corey Brideau
Corey Brideau2 years ago

what a joke it is 2015 and the world is still full of hate. hating gays is pathetic and immature

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Magdalena J.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you!

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Jane H.
Jane H2 years ago

they'll eventually come along....some are slower than others. It takes time.

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