OKLAHOMA CITY,Okla. — Activists are calling more than half a dozen proposed bills ‘anti-gay bills,’ but that’s not how some legislators refer to them.
The authors of the bills say the legislation is about focusing on religious freedom and the bills should be labeled ‘traditional values bills’.
Lawmakers say they don’t hate anyone in the gay community.
They say their bills are solely to help Oklahomans, who don’t agree with same-sex marriage, to avoid legal action and enforce religious freedom.
“If they want to live that way, let them, but see that’s not enough for them, right now. What they want is to force their lifestyle upon the rest of us,” Rep. Sally Kern says in response to the LGBT advocates who call her bills “hate-filled.”
“I don’t hate anybody; it means you look at an issue and decide what’s right,” Kern said.
Kern says what’s “right” is following Christian principles, which is the basis of her bill aimed at stopping youth from being attracted to the same sex.
“The LGBT people want to limit someone’s freedom to come to understand something, because their mantra is ‘well you’re born gay and you can’t change’ and there’s no credible scientific research to prove that,” Kern said.
Her two other bills deal with allowing businesses to refuse service, ceasing state funding for same-sex marriages, and preventing state employees from licensing or performing same-sex marriages.
“They are on the wrong side of the moral issue, so yes they are going to seem like they are attacked,” Kern said.
“What this is doing is protecting freedom, that’s what it is, and that’s what this homosexual movement, that’s what they don’t want, they don’t want that at all. What they want is for everyone to be forced to accept them and forced to provide services,” Senator Silk says.
Senator Corey Brooks says his bill only focuses on people like judges, clerks, and pastors.
“This gives them the opportunity to say no, we don’t want to perform that ceremony, but somebody else, a few stalls down at the court clerks office does,” Brooks said.
The bills are all scheduled to be read to the legislature next week for opening session.