Oklahoma Senators Weigh Anti-LGBTQ, License to Discriminate Bill
UPDATE: On March 13 the Oklahoma Senate passed SB 1140 with a 35–9 vote. Now our fight to defeat this #LicenseToDiscriminate bill moves to the House. Please use our online action alert to contact your State Representatives today!
On February 5, Oklahoma State Senator Greg Trent introduced SB 1140, a bill that would allow state agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ potential parents, preventing children from being placed in a safe, forever family. If this bill were to pass, Oklahoma would join a list of seven states that have passed similar discriminatory laws already: Alabama, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, Mississippi, Michigan, and Texas.
In coordination with our partners at Freedom Oklahoma, Family Equality Council is urging Oklahoma residents to write to a group of Oklahoma Senators who have the power to stop this bill in its tracks.
Currently in Oklahoma, there are 10,000 children in the child welfare system and over 4,300 children are waiting to find loving, forever families. The biggest challenge facing these children is a shortage of qualified foster and adoptive parents; yet, SB 1140 would decrease the number of foster and adoptive parents by allowing agencies, including those funded by tax dollars, to turn away qualified foster and adoptive parents simply because they are LGBTQ or do not otherwise meet the agency’s religious litmus test.
Even worse, SB 1140 gives adoption agencies the ability to refuse to work with LGBTQ youth who need a foster or adoptive home, something that is simply unconscionable.
Family Equality Council believes that legislation like this should be defeated and LGBTQ families who seek to adopt should be welcomed. Oklahoma’s SB 1140 harms the state’s most vulnerable children by rejecting loving parents who would help them thrive.