LGBT rights in Oklahoma
|LGBT rights in Oklahoma|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2003|
|Gender identity/expression||State does not alter sex on birth certificates for transsexual people|
|Constitution limits marriage to one man/one woman|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Oklahoma face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Oklahoma. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all the protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Oklahoma does not permit the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state forbids, both by statute and in its constitution, the recognition of same-sex marriages and other form of same-sex partnership solemnized in other jurisdictions. The constitutional amendment defining marriage was approved in a voter referendum in November 2004.
The day after Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, two lesbian couples filed a challenge in federal court in Tulsa. The case is Bishop v. United States of America and the lawsuit has been ongoing.
In May 2012, the Oklahoma Senate passed SCR 62, a non-binding resolution reaffirming marriage between one man and one women. It passed 40-4, with 4 senators absent from the vote.
In April 2013, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed HCR 1009, a non-binding resolution reaffirming marriage between one man and one women and urging the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act and the right of states to regulate marriage. It passed 84-0, with 71 Republicans and 13 Democrats voting yes, while 16 Democrats walked out of the chamber instead of voting in protest. Republican John Trebilcock was also absent of the vote. The Oklahoma Senate later that month approved the non-binding resolution.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
However, as of 1 November 2013, there are three same-sex couples who have been issued licenses through the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, a sovereign nation within the borders of Oklahoma despite the official state prohibition.
Adoption and parenting
Oklahoma permits adoption by an unmarried adult without regard to sexual orientation.
In August 2007, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Finstuen v. Crutcher ordered Oklahoma to issue a revised birth certificate showing both adoptive parents to a child born in Oklahoma who had been adopted by a same-sex couple married elsewhere.
Oklahoma law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Oklahoma City and Tulsa both have nondiscrimination policies that prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation only.
Hate crime laws
State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Proposed legislation to institute in the Oklahoma National Guard a local version of "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT), the federal policy that formerly prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military, was proposed in January 2012, and later withdrawn in February.
- Cimarron Alliance Foundation
- National Gay Task Force v. Board of Education
- The State of Oklahoma vs. David Ray Mitchell
- "Oklahoma Sodomy Law". Human Rights Campaign. 2003-06-26. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Oklahoma Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law". Hrc.org. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- CNN: Ballot Measures, accessed May 15, 2011
- Heide Brandes (Friday, 1 November 2013). "Oklahoma gay couple marry under Native American law". Reuters. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Human Rights Campaign: Oklahoma Adoption Law, accessed May 15, 2011
- Finstuen v. Crutcher (10th Cir. 2007), accessed July 11, 2011
- Human Rights Campaign: Oklahoma Non-Discrimination Law, accessed May 15, 2011
- "Oklahoma Hate Crimes Law". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 15 May 15, 2011.
- "Bill Would Reintroduce DADT to Oklahoma Guard". Military.com. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "DADT Bill Apparently Shelved in Oklahoma House". Military.com. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.