Oklahoma NOT OK for Gay & Lesbian Parents

If the recent Michigan legislation wasn’t enough to turn your stomach, what’s underway in Oklahoma will.

An Oklahoma bill preventing out-of-state same-sex couples from sharing the custody of an adopted Oklahoma child is on its way to the governor after being approved by both the state House and Senate.

The bill (H.B. 1821) will also prevent the state from recognizing adoptions granted in other states to same-sex couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest GLBT rights group.

The Oklahoma House passed the bill Monday by a 93-4 vote. The Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved the bill April 12 (44-0).

While the measure would not stop a gay or lesbian individual from adopting, the bill would recognize only one person as the child’s parent. It also prevents both same-sex parents from putting their names on the child’s birth certificate.

Oklahoma already prohibits resident same-sex couples from adopting jointly.

Does that mean that if the hubby, the kid and I were traveling through Oklahoma (because you know we wouldn’t stopping or staying long) that while we were in the state, only one of us would legally be Parker’s parent? Or neither of us? Now, say that while we’re driving through Oklahoma we have some sort of accident and all need hospital care. If Oklahoma recognizes neither of us as Parker’s legal parents, what position would that put us in exactly? Would we lose custody of him while we were in Oklahoma? If so, how would we regain it so we could get the hell out of that backwards hellhole?

Cheryl Jacques, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, thinks the answer to the all of the above is “yes.”

“Enactment of this bill would mean that if I traveled to Oklahoma with my family, my sons would lose any legal ties to me the moment we set foot in the state,” said HRC President Cheryl Jacques in a prepared statement. “No child and no parent should face that kind of threat.”

And from the HRC press release on the legislation:

H.B. 1821 would require the state, its agencies and the courts of Oklahoma to not recognize adoptions from other jurisdictions by same-sex couples. The effects of this bill are potentially harmful to same-sex couples who are both legal parents of their children and move to or travel through Oklahoma. The non-biological parent may be denied access to their children in the hospital or barred from making medical decisions for them.

I want to believe that this bill wasn’t entirely thought through—as some have charitably suggested about the Michigan bill—and that legislators just didn’t fully realize what they were passing. But in this case, I can’t help thinking that they intended to be just this hateful. How coul d a law like this be based on anything but outright hatred?

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3 Responses to Oklahoma NOT OK for Gay & Lesbian Parents

  1. Prime says:

    Georgia is next. Its already starting to bubble under the fever of SR595 passing. But now, while everyone is possed to fight the battle for marriage equality, this will slip under the radar.

    Just saddens me beyond health….

  2. shannon says:

    The thing that really freaks me out about it is that it passed by a landslide! Doesn’t ANYone in teh Oklahoma legislature have two brain cells to rub together? So children with gay parents in the emergency room after car wrecks in Oklahoma are suddenly orphans?????
    It obviously can’t stand. As my partner who was at the center of the Amendment 2 stuff in Colorado said, it’s a waste of state money!

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