Sally Kern withdraws anti-gay bill

KernSallyLoRes

Sally Kern

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican, withdrew a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to LGBT people, according to Tulsa World.

Her bill, “the Business Protection Act,” read:

“No business entity shall be required to provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges related to any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, group or association.”

She said the bill wouldn’t have done what she intended for it to do, and she’s right. Instead, it would have been declared unconstitutional and, in its ruling, any court would have said the law was based on animus and turned sexual orientation and gender identity into protected classes.

Oklahoma state Sen. Kay Floyd, a Democrat, who is lesbian, said, “This is great news. Your letters, emails, and calls are already making a difference. The sooner we defeat the rest of these divisive and unconstitutional bills, the sooner we can get back to working for everyday Oklahomans.”

Kern submitted two other anti-gay bills so far this session. One prevents taxpayer money and government salaries from licensing or supporting same-sex marriage. The other is called the “Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act.”

—  David Taffet

Martinez gets Victory Fund endorsement

Sara Martinez

Sara Martinez

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund announced its latest round of endorsements in this year’s elections. Sara Martinez, who is running for Justice of the Peace in Dallas County, is on the list. Martinez already has the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats. In the runoff, she faces Melissa Bellan.

Martinez is running for Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Place 1, which covers much of North Oak Cliff and Oak Lawn.

Early voting runs May 19 through May 23 and the runoff is May 27.

Of the 18 new endorsements, Victory Fund announced one other candidate from Texas — Jim Evans, who is running for Harris County family court judge in Houston.

Kay Floyd, running for state Senate in Oklahoma, also received one of the Victory Fund’s endorsements this week. Floyd is currently a state representative from Oklahoma City. She is running for state Senate, hoping to replace gay state Sen. Al McAffrey, who is vying for U.S. Congress.

Another local candidate who already received the Victory Fund endorsement is John Turner-McClelland who is running for Denton County Fresh Water Supply Board.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund works to elect LGBT leaders to public office.

—  David Taffet

Kay Floyd wins runoff, set to become Oklahoma’s 1st lesbian legislator

Kay Floyd

Kay Floyd, a lesbian, won a Democratic primary runoff on Tuesday to succeed state Sen. Al McAffrey in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Floyd, an Oklahoma City attorney and administrative law judge, decided to run for the seat when McAffrey, who is also gay, gave it up after winning a special election to fill a vacancy in the state Senate. Floyd received 63 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s runoff.

McAffrey congratulated Floyd on Facebook.

“A big congratulations to my friend Kay Floyd on her well-deserved win last night. Now on to November where she will defeat her Republican opponent!” he wrote.

Floyd has served as an assistant state attorney general and as deputy executive director for the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. In addition to serving as an administrative law judge since 1989, she has been a special municipal court judge for Oklahoma City for 22 years.

Floyd is endorsed by the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. In November, she faces a Republican opponent, but the district is heavily Democratic. If elected, she would become the first lesbian to serve in the Oklahoma Legislature.

—  David Taffet