SB 197 “Oklahoma Right of Conscience Act” is bad for business and people

Of the many bills moving through committee and approaching a vote, we don’t see how this helps our community, protects our citizens, or enhances our values. Similar bills in other states have not led to a more open and free society, safe from whatever group the bill targets but rather results in the loss of jobs, sales tax revenue and casts a backward and retrogressive shadow in the states that have passed such legislation.

Large companies and entertainment groups have removed or curtailed their involvement with these states because of bills like this. We should not allow Oklahoma to be one of them.

We already have clear laws in place for the handling of discrimination. We have clear laws in place about the right to refuse service.  This bill, in my opinion, does nothing to enhance or protect any group and simply casts a backwards shadow on our state and our community.

Whether or not we agree on the choices someone makes in their life, if they are productive members of society I frankly don’t care if they are gay, straight, Mormon, legal immigrant or old. You can find the full SB197  here. and an Excerpt is placed below.

 

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs or conscience of the individual regarding marriage, lifestyle or behavior: 1. Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges used in a marriage ceremony or celebration of a specific lifestyle or behavior; or 2. Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to be used to promote, advertise, endorse or advocate for a specific marriage, lifestyle or behavior.”