Oklahoma’s governor angers the NRA and gay rights groups — on the same day





The Washington Post
by Alex Horton
May 12, 2018

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) united gun and LGBTQ advocates on Friday, in a sense.

LGBTQ rights groups say a bill she signed Friday legalizes discrimination against families hoping to adopt by allowing faith-based agencies to deny placing children with people they believe violate their religious views, such as same-sex couples.

And she vetoed a bill that would have struck down a requirement of a training course before lawfully carrying a handgun in public, drawing opposition from the National Rifle Association — also on Friday.

Fallin defended the adoption regulation bill in a statement, saying the new law “does not ban same-sex adoption or foster care in Oklahoma.” She noted that her state joins six others that have passed similar laws. It goes into effect Nov. 1.

Indeed, the law does not specify or single out same-sex couples.

But gay rights groups have said the bill in effect allows agencies partially funded with tax money to turn away prospective parents while nearly a half-million children nationwide await placement in homes.

“Oklahoma has now joined a small group of states that have broken the cardinal rule of child welfare — that the needs of children should come first,” said the Rev. Stan J. Sloan, the chief executive of the LGTBQ rights advocacy group Family Equality Council.

The law also blunts the ability of LGBTQ family members to take in related children if a faith-based group declines their request, the group’s policy director, Denise Brogan-Kator, said.

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