Shame on you, Oklahoma State Senate

The Oklahoma state Senate has taken action yesterday in an attempt to thwart the implementation of the federal hate crimes law passed last year that added sexual orientation and gender identity to federal statutes.

It is hard to imagine the level of short-sighted bigotry that leads someone to try to keep the resources of the federal government from helping to solve or prevent violent, bias-motivated crimes in their own state. This new Oklahoma bill would prevent state and local law enforcement officials from reaching out to the federal government for help and would essentially allow the state to cover up hate crimes that did happen by refusing to share records or information with the federal government. This would leave LGBT Oklahomans with no recourse or assistance if they are the victims of a hate crime, as Oklahoma law does not extend those protections either.

By attempting to exclude Oklahomans from the protections granted to them by federal law, the Oklahoma state senate is sending a dangerous message that it condones such violence against LGBT people and, in doing so, makes their state significantly less safe for all its citizens. Potential perpetrators of violent bias crimes should never be given the message by government officials that their crimes are anything less than abhorrent and illegal. When violence is condoned or covered up, especially by those in power, it creates a climate of fear and lawlessness which runs directly counter to the values of democracy.

More info in the Dallas Voice

5 Responses to Shame on you, Oklahoma State Senate

  1. Jennifer Chavez says:

    I am so sick and tired of politicians who are so short sighted and bigoted, that they refuse to see the forest for the trees. I hope these morons are voted out of office and I hope someone they know ever comes forward with this condition.

  2. Rita Lewis says:

    Perhaps the writer of this article needs to understand the thinking behind the Oklahoma Senate action. After this bill was passed some Muslim and other organizations came out of the woodwork attempting to accuse people of hate crimes. One such incident involved the Mayor in California who simply stated to a group of Christians that his city was a Christian one. HE is now up on charges of a hate crime. (Look it up.) There are many of us who fear that because of this bill, churches will be falsely accused of hate crimes just because they stated their beliefs. So before you rare up and start making accusations, perhaps you should do a little more investigating. Oklahoma Senate members aren’t promoting hate crimes any more than you are. Shame on YOU!

    • Kimberly says:

      Frankly Rita, that mayor promoting christianity as the preferred belief, (at the exclusion of other beliefs) probably WAS promoting hate. Or at least an arrogance of privilege.
      Question for you: As an atheist, is this not my Country too?
      Do you really not see how those of us in the minority, whether it’s teh ghey, trans, muslim, people of color, agnostics or atheists, or those with disabilities, feel left out of the national equation because of attitudes like this?

    • Justin Tanis says:

      Rita:

      The federal hate crimes law only applies to violent crimes that have been committed. There are absolutely no provisions that would prosecute anyone because of their speech or beliefs. A person can only be accused under this law if they physically inflict injury on another person because of bias.

      It’s confusing when people are spreading misinformation about this. I’d encourage you to do a little more investigation into exactly what the law does and does not say.

      I stick with my original premise in my blog post–that it is shameful for Oklahoma to attempt to hide information about violent crimes committed in their state. And, for the record, NCTE also stands firmly against racial and ethnic prejudice, including bias crimes committed against Muslims.

      Justin

  3. Anne says:

    The California mayor is an idiot, but that does not qualify as a hate crime. The Oklahoma politicians and their brethren are not short-sighted, they are bigots and they are trying to circumvent federal law. This action comes very close to tacit approval of violence against GLTB people, whether their “justification” is simply personal prejudice against GLBT folk or because the bible orders believers to kill them (except for lesbians, who are not mentioned).

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