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Oklahoma Legislator Wants to Nullify Gay Rights Ordinances

Oklahoma Legislator Wants to Nullify Gay Rights Ordinances

 

Remember Oklahoma state representative Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) who wanted to reinstate DADT for the state’s National Guard? Since that’s been blocked, Reynolds has found a new target: he wants to ban local ordinances from exceeding state-wide nondiscrimination protections and protecting people based on their sexuality or gender identity.

From The Norman Transcript:

State Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, introduced House Bill 2245 to limit nondiscrimination ordinances for municipal employees by restricting those protections to only those also provided for state employees under Oklahoma statute. If approved, the act would become effective Nov. 1.

HB 2245 is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Calls seeking comment from Rep. Reynolds Friday were not returned.

Leaders from several equality groups, including ACLU-Oklahoma, The Equality Network, Oklahomans for Equality, and Cimarron Alliance joined their voices on Friday in condemning HB 2245, saying the measure would strike down nondiscrimination policies for municipal employees that include classes not protected under state employee nondiscrimination policies.

Current state law does not protect people on grounds of marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political affiliation.

Oklahoma City added sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination provisions in November and was quietly celebrated at the time for this very important move. The Human Rights Campaign has since been working with several other local officials including those in Norman City in order to pass further LGBT-inclusive ordinances. This bill would of course nullify that.

Several groups have strongly condemned the Reynolds bill.

Via The Advocate:

Some elected officials and activists were quick to speak out against his latest proposal. “I am surprised that Representative Reynolds is contradicting his conservative beliefs, which would not have government interfering on local decisions,” Norman City Council member Tom Kovach told the Transcript. “How a municipality makes decisions about its employee policy should be strictly up to local control.”

Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, issued a press release saying, “It is bad enough when short-sighted politicians and demagogues stand in the way of progress, but it is even more offensive when those same forces conspire to take away civil rights that have already been won.”

Rep Mike Reynolds’ previous DADT bill was stymied by Speaker Kris Steele. It is unclear whether Speaker Steele will take such action over this bill.

This bill is of course modeled on legislation that was rushed through the Tennessee Legislature last year in order to prevent Nashville from enacting LGBT protections. There is now a lawsuit in progress over that law.

Nebraska legislators have also attempted to pass similar legislation, though it appears at this stage that the bill has floundered in the state Senate.

 

Related Reading:
Oklahoma Bill to Reinstate DADT Rule Derailed
Nebraska Senate Panel Reluctant to Act on Anti-Gay Bill
Lord Carey’s Fact-Free Case Against Gay Marriage Examined

 

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Image used under the MorgueFile user license with thanks to mconnors.

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33 comments

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1:01PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Another legislative idiot from OK.

He is definitely not "OK".

2:03AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

What is wrong with these Republicans trying to pass laws as personal vendettas. They were elected to do the will of the people. They say this is the will of the people. It's a small minority that wants all of these bs bills. I don't even understand how they can pass them. They seem unconstitutional. I think it will only get worse as elections approach. They'll try to cram all sorts of things because they know they're on the way out of the door.

12:47PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

I lived in OK for 10 years and went to college there. The state government is primarily a pack of thieves and liers who spend much of their time coming up with ways to steal more money from their citizens.

12:10PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Civil rights are always a struggle to obtain, and there are always people who oppose them. While women have come pretty far in gaining equality (although there is still a ways to go), you find a significant backlash against them regularly (it's particularly noticeable now, when so many people are trying to take away basic choices from women). It is unsurprising that equality and civil rights for gay people is also showing a backlash. I expect it'll follow much the same path, there is just even further to go with getting equal treatment for people regardless of orientation.

10:17AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Thank you for the article...

9:42AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

I have a better idea: let's nullify HIS rights and see how he likes it.

8:54AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

It is too bad that closeted Rep Mike Reynolds wants to change the law. Closeted, self hating, gays will always try to legislate against gay rights. The reason: If gays have rights to be gay then I will not be able to resist my gay tendencies and eventually I will give myself away and everyone will know I am gay. However gay tendencies are not tendencies, they are burning, natural, sexual needs. You will give yourself away Mike. You will be caught just like so many others before you, using a truck stop/airport bathroom with some faceless stranger. Sneaking a rentboy into your hotel room because you need someone to carry your luggage or give you a "massage". Stop trying so hard to make us believe you are straight, we don't believe it in fact "The lady doth protest too much." And the actual fact is WE DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE GAY, just don't try to make it hard for everyone so it will be hard for you.

8:52AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

I consider bigots to be sad pitiable souls. They live in fear, like children trying to hide in a corner with their heads down and eyes squeezed shut. If they keep their eyes closed and don't move then maybe their imagined monster won't find them! It takes courage to open your eyes and look at your 'monster', bigots, but if you try you will discover another human being with a mind, a soul, and a smile. You don't have to agree with how other people live their lives, but if we as a species are to improve and grow then we need you bigots to find your courage and talk with your imaginary 'monsters'. And then listen to what the other person has to say. Who knows? You might make a friend.

8:25AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Elaine is just another ignorant troll, who should make a better use of her time picking up garage by the side of the road, as opposed to throwing it down here.

8:22AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Oh Elaine. Being a bigoted hate filled homophobe has got to be difficult. So what events do you propose for your "Gay Special Olympics".....who can tie a fag to a fence and beat him to death the quickest? Or perhaps you prefer who can bully a child into killing him/herself the quickest. And remember, JCPenny is having a white sale, so you should think about replacing your sheet..Clearly you get a lot of use out of it.

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