OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill that would outlaw mandating gender identity diversity training in state funded settings was thought to be dead in the Oklahoma House of Representative, but some lawmakers are reportedly breaking traditional procedures to get it back on the docket.
House Bill 1888 was laid over back at the beginning of March. When it didn’t come back on the House agenda before Spring Break, most thought it was dead for the session. But on Wednesday, the bill was back on a house committee agenda labeled as a Senate bill concerning the Red River.
“This bill is quite honestly a way to legislate people back into the closet,” said Rep. Mauree Turner.
The Democrat from Oklahoma City is talking about a bill that would stop the mandating of sexual or gender identity diversity training by public institutions. Rep. Danny Williams, the bill’s author, says state funds would be withheld to enforce it.
“Those things should be discussed and looked at outside of government because we are not qualified to deal with it,” said Williams on the House Floor.
HB1888 was effectively shot down on the House floor earlier this month. Currently Senate Bill 267 is up for House Committee review. That piece of legislation initially was a bill that would set up a Red River Boundary Commission, but it has been amended and completely changed by William. The language from HB1888 put in its place going against traditional procedure.
“We are really disappointed to see that certain members of the legislature are willing to ignore these procedural deadlines in order to push an extreme anti-gay agenda,” said Allie Shinn of Freedom Oklahoma.
“We followed all the rules and made the appropriate changes and followed the House rules. We did it the way it was supposed to be done. It’s just an effort to make sure that parents are the ones training their children about what gender and sexual diversity is and not asking the state to do that,” said Rep. Danny Williams of Seminole.
Turner is non-binary and stresses the importance of the training the bill would stop.
“If we had training like this, I wouldn’t be continuously misgendered by my colleagues, right?” said Turner.
Turner says multiple calls and emails by Oklahomans across the state helped to get the initial bill laid over.
“We defeated 1888 once and we can do it again by another name,” said Turner.
Williams says the bill substitute was an effort to save time.
The amended SB627 passed through the House Committee 6-2. It now moves to the House floor for debate. If passed there, it would then go back to the Senate to approve the amendments.