Amendment would require Oklahoma businesses to bring religious beliefs out of the closet

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An amendment to a controversial piece of legislation is making waves across Oklahoma.

House Bill 1371, which was proposed by Rep. Chuck Strohm, would create the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act.

The bill would give businesses the right to refuse service to customers if it is against their religious beliefs.

Specifically, the bill addresses that companies should not be required “to participate in any marriage ceremony, celebration, or other related activity or to provide items or services for such purposes against the person’s religious beliefs.”

The legislation was proposed after several businesses around the country have faced legal action after denying service to gay and lesbian couples.

Now, an Oklahoma representative has proposed an amendment that would require those businesses to be open about their beliefs.

Rep. Emily Virgin’s amendment would require “any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites. The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.”

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