Target: Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern
Goal: Applaud abandonment of proposal that would have legalized discrimination against people for their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern was forced to withdraw a bill legalizing discrimination against LGBT people from consideration after the proposed legislation gained national condemnation. The bill in question was one of three that were introduced by Representative Kern aimed at curtailing the rights of non-heterosexual and non-binary people. The most shameless of the three was a bill that would have made it legal for businesses to deny accommodations, services, and goods to members of the LGBT community because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Thanks to the tireless advocacy of people who would not let such bigotry stand, including those here at ForceChange, this dangerous and regressive bill has been put to an appropriate end. With the Oklahoma state legislature dominated by Republicans who might have been receptive to such a bill, this should be considered a victory on the side of justice.
In the fight for justice for all peoples, it can be all too easy to become discouraged by the audacity of our opponents. Positive action against that tide of hate, like we see here, gives us all cause for reinvigoration and inspiration. Sign the petition below to express your appreciation to Representative Kern for doing the right thing and killing her hateful bill.
Dear Representative Kern,
I am writing you today about House Bill 1597 and your decision to withdraw it from consideration. Specifically, I wanted to express my gratitude to you for being able to kill your own proposal in light of its widespread condemnation.
Members of the LGBT community already face discrimination in many aspects of life just for being who they are. Laws doing nothing to protect them from that discrimination, and indeed, laws explicitly condoning that discrimination and making it a protected right, have no place in our society. At both the state level and the national level, we as Americans need to do everything we can to make our country the beacon of justice that it is so often idealized to be. Taking House Bill 1597 out of the picture is a step in that direction, and I applaud you for it.
That being said, I hope you see this turn of events not as a end, but as a beginning. Your other anti-LGBT bills, House Bills 1598 and 1599, are still up for consideration and could still become law. While killing HB 1597 was a good start, removing these other bills from the running would be even better.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: GRuban via Wikimedia Commons