Rep. Dunnington frustrated with demise of ‘workplace equality’ measures

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – House Bill 1345 will not be heard in committee this legislative session, further delaying “workplace equality” for Oklahoma’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, advocates said.

When a bill does not get a scheduled hearing in committee, it has no pathway for moving forward. 

The bill was intended to amend provisions regarding workplace and employment discrimination by adding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, author of the bill, expressed discontent that his bill not being heard in committee.

“Many of my colleagues in the House would contend that America is built on the fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. But today, thousands of Oklahomans go to work fearing that they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love.”

The leader of a group organized to support LGBT interests expressed disappointment with the bill not being heard in committee.

“The LGBT community has found a strong ally in Jason Dunnington. Freedom Oklahoma would like to thank the Representative for proposing the most comprehensive protections against discrimination in the history of Oklahoma. While it is extremely unfortunate that H.B.1345 will not be heard in this session, we look forward to working with Rep. Dunnington — and other fair-minded lawmakers — to ensure that one day soon, freedom will truly mean freedom for everyone in our great state,” said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma.

Although the bill will not be heard in this legislative session, Rep. Dunnington is hopeful it will be heard again in the next legislative session.

“While H.B. 1345 did not move forward this year, I am committed to running it again, as I believe that all Oklahomans regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity should possess basic employment protections.”

Rep. Jason Dunnington was elected in 2014 to his first term in the House, representing District 88 in central Oklahoma City.