Writes Currey Cook, Counsel and Director, Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, Lambda Legal: "With the stroke of a pen, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin earns the dubious honor of becoming the first governor in 2018 to write anti-LGBT discrimination into law and withhold loving homes from Oklahoma children".
"And the countless young people who will be stigmatized by state sanctioned hate".
The bill passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives in a 59-28 vote in late April. But the Legislature overrode her veto and the bill became law anyway.
"Today is a sad day for Oklahomans", Davis said in a statement.
To date, seven states have passed laws allowing faith-based placement centers to refuse services to same-sex couples: Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. Oklahoma's leaders must live with that, and live with the reputational fallout that it may bring.
When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in 2015, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in localities like California, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. closed their doors to avoid having to place children in LGBTQ households.
Lawmakers who supported the bill did not hesitate to challenge the pro-gun bona fides of Ms. Fallin, a two-term governor who can not seek re-election when Oklahomans go to vote in November because of term limits. This law allows child welfare organizations including adoption & foster care agencies to discriminate against qualified Oklahomans seeking to care for a child in need including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection.
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"The bill will help continue Oklahoma's successful placement of children with a broad array of loving families", she said in a statement.
Kansas's governor has a similar anti-LGBTQ adoption bill waiting on his desk.
Some 11 different states have handed comparable laws, which, if applied in Oklahoma, would have "eradicated the requirement to finish a brief firearms security and coaching course from an authorized teacher and exhibit competency with a pistol earlier than carrying a gun in public", based on the governor's workplace.
"Plain and simple, Governor Fallin and Oklahoma Republicans are discriminating against LGBTQ parents", says DNC LGBTQ media director Lucas Acosta in a statement.
The new law goes into effect November 1.
Fallin added that the bill "eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not", echoing an argument that many lawmakers who opposed the mandate, such as Democratic state Rep. Shane Stone, made while the bill was debated.