OKLAHOMA - Today, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization accused our state of going after LGBT families with over two-dozen proposed new laws.
They said every one of the 26 bills tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians.
“It's a mess of a bill,” said Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson’s about HB 3044 by Representative Sally Kern. “What it says is no counselor, no teacher can give an affirmation to a student that comes to them with any problem with sexuality."
The bill would prohibit certain referrals about sexuality or providing information to students without notifying a parent.
“But, what it aims to do is make sure that they are not allowed to reach out to the only outlet they have especially in rural Oklahoma, and that's a school counselor or a trusted teacher,” Stevenson said.
Kern sees it differently.
"Parents are the ones who ultimately have responsibility for their minor children not schools, and they have the right to be informed of any referral or information anyone in our schools may be giving their minor children,” Kern said.
Another bill would allow a business to refuse service to a certain person or group, meaning a bakery could refuse to make cakes for a same-sex couple.
“They are attempting to discrimination by offering businesses and institutions and government agencies that are religious to bypass the law,” said Scott Foster, Pastor First Presbyterian Church in Guthrie.
Then, there's the bathroom bill, targeting transgender people like Austin Sims.
“What that means is, although my birth certificate says female, I live my life as the man I've always known myself to be,” Sims said.
If it passes, he wouldn't be allowed to use the men's restroom.
“I'm alarmed by this legislation, because it does not live up to the values that I grew up with,” Sims said.
At a time when others say the state has more pressing issues.
“We have crises in healthcare and infrastructure and education," said Ryan Keisel, Oklahoma ACLU. "Yet, some lawmakers insist on using our time and energy on using religion as a weapon.”
Stevenson said it’s a tactic they are prepared to fight.
“So, to our leaders, either kill this legislation, or we will see you in court,” he said.