The Senate Committee on General Government passed Senate Bill 694 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate. That bill would prevent cities and counties from enacting local ordinances that are more stringent than state law in terms of public accommodation and employment policies.
Homosexual advocates are livid because they say this bill would end special rights for homosexuals in public policy. The City of Tulsa makes special accommodations for people who claim to be homosexuals in its discrimination policies and that ordinance could be overturned if SB694 becomes law.
Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman currently have nondiscrimination policies that specifically favor homosexuals.
In 2015, the Tulsa City Council voted 8-0 to extend special rights to homosexuals under the city’s fair housing policy. It was signed by ex-Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Brecheen said his bill is designed to give uniformity to state and city laws.
“The public accommodation and housing elements unfairly require business owners to serve transgender and same-sex couples even if they have moral or religious objections,” Brecheen said. “And we are seeing across the nation city ordinances that are making business owners more liable for lawsuits.”