Gay hiking

Oklahoma’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill?

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Laws that address race and sexual orientation have been passed by state legislatures across the country.

Recently, Florida passed a law banning the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Florida recently passed HB 1557, what some call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Legislation states that teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity would be prohibited “from kindergarten to grade 3 or in a way that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with standards of State”.

We wanted to know if Oklahoma has or could soon have its own “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

The bill has sparked protests in Florida, but some say Oklahoma already has a Florida version of the initiative. it’s HB 1775 and it was passed in 2021 and became law.

“HB 1775 is an overly vague bill that prevents conversations about race, gender, and sexual orientation in public schools.” said Cindy Nguyen, director of policy for the ACLU of Oklahoma.

The ACLU of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma over what most people know as the “critical race theory” bill, but they say it also prevents other topics from being discussed in classrooms.

“We have already seen college professors remove material from their curricula that addresses sexual orientation as well as gender identity. Said Nguyen

“They’re similar and somewhat related but, no, it’s not the same bill that Florida just passed.” Says Senator Nathan Dahm.

The Broken Arrow Republican says HB 1775 only prohibits students from taking sexual orientation and gender identity courses in college. But would he be in favor of a Florida-style “Don’t Say Gay” bill?

“With some of these ideas being pushed on young students even in our elementary schools. Yes, I think it is something that is needed. Dahm said.

“..fear is extremely dangerous.”

Representative Jacob Rosecrans

“Well, that’s not happening in our schools in the first place, so why are we trying to write a bill that’s not happening?” said Rep. Jacob Rosecrans.

Representative Rosencrants is a former teacher of Norman. “As the parent of a trans boy, I can tell you right now that this ‘eraser’ or use of this fear campaign is extremely dangerous.”

“If it’s something parents want to have the conversation with their kids, that’s one thing. But no, government employees should not be having this conversation with these young students. Dahm said.

The deadline for introducing new legislation has passed, but Dahm says they could find an education-based bill, to which Floridian-style language could be added, and then pass this session.