It's a sad day when the LGBT community needs to be updated about the push for anti-LGBT laws in 2016. Gay marriage was legalized in June 2015, but one state in particular—Oklahoma—is holding on tight to the discrimination.
Don't blame the entirety of Oklahoma for the scarily conservative legislation. Look no further than Representative Sally Kern, who has tried to do the exact same thing in January 2015.
In reference to last year's bill proposals, Rep. Kern told KFOR, "They [the LGBT community] are on the wrong side of the moral issue, so yes they are going to seem like they are attacked."
After the progress made this year you'd think she would've changed her tune. But that's not the case. Slate's Mark Jospeh Stern has highlighted two new bills and one returning from last year that are pushing for similarly discriminatory practices.
The infamous conversion therapy bill has returned. It didn't make it to the legislative floor for a vote, but Rep. Kern has ressurected it. If passed, the bill would allow mental health professionals to use aversion and conversion therapy in an effort to change an individual's sexual orientation. This would also include those enrolled in these forms of therapy by their parents.
This legislative effort would keep public school counselors from connecting struggling LGBT youth with gay affirming therapists or inclusive LGBT groups. It would require that parents are notified 24 hours before any referral and would ban counselors from handing out any information about these groups or initiatives. Without these outlets and the ability to connect with the LGBT community, these individuals would be left to struggle on their own.
SB 733 wouldn't allow anyone with a "communicable or infectious disease" to obtain a marriage license. The bill doesn't have a leg to stand on because this clearly discriminates against those with HIV, whom are protected against such insanity.
Rep. Kern's legislative efforts are completely out of touch with the times, but it's important to recognize that many people are still desperately clutching to their prejudice. It may be 2016, but there is still plenty of progress to be made.
Mark Joseph Stern's article can be found here: The Latest Anti-Gay Oklahoma Bills Are Almost Too Crazy to Believe