Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Discriminatory Diversity Training Ban into Law

by Wyatt Ronan

OKLAHOMA – Today, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 1775 — a bill that prohibits mandatory diversity training for students in Oklahoma’s public universities regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, race stereotyping and sex stereotyping for students – into law. HB 1775 is the first piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation that has been advanced by the Oklahoma state legislature this year.

The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-LGBTQ legislation has been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are so far more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, at least 120 directly target transgender people. With an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ measures sweeping through state legislatures across the country, 2021 has officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history. The previous record — set six years ago in 2015, when 15 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law — was broken on Friday, as the sixteenth and seventeenth anti-LGBTQ bills wereas enacted into law. This bill is the eighteenth anti-LGBTQ bill to be enacted this year. In addition, 8 anti-LGBTQ bills are on governors’ desks awaiting signature or veto and several more are continuing to move through state legislatures across the country, including SB2 in Oklahoma.

Gov. Stitt and the Oklahoma state legislature are simply seeking to sow division and fear with HB 1775. There is no purpose for this legislation besides perpetuating discrimination against women, people of color, and LGBTQ people living in Oklahoma. This bill — developed without any legitimate basis — is just another example of Oklahoma lawmakers advancing and signing discriminatory bills instead of focusing on legitimate issues impacting residents in Oklahoma.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

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