Study: Gays earn less, suffer more in Oklahoma

Men in same-sex couples in Oklahoma earn 26 percent less than their straight married counterparts, according to a new study on employment discrimination against LGBT people in the Sooner State.

The study, released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, also concludes that LGBT Oklahomans are frequently subject to harassment and discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The study estimates that there are between 43,000 and 57,000 LGB people working in Oklahoma, along with as many as 6,800 transgender people.

Expanding the state’s nondiscrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity would have little impact on state agencies, resulting in only 21-29 additional complaints per year, according to the study.

“Laws that provide protection from discrimination not only benefit employees, but also help businesses recruit and retain highly-skilled employees,” said study co-author Lee Badgett.

To read the full study and press release, go here.

—  John Wright

Oklahoma outlaws the Ten Commandments

These are now illegal in Oklahoma

On Nov. 2, Oklahomans voted on a proposition that made Sharia law illegal in the state.

The proposition reads:

This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.

International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.

The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.

Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.

What most Oklahomans undoubtedly fail to realize is that the Ten Commandments are part of Sharia law, so their 70 percent vote to outlaw Sharia also outlawed the Ten Commandments.

A number of groups have already filed challenges based on the First Amendment prohibition on any law “respecting an establishment of religion” or impeding the free exercise of religion.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he would like a similar federal law.

The goal, according to the measure’s Republican sponsor, Rex Duncan, was a pre-emptive strike to stop liberal judges from undermining the principles upon which America is based.

Maybe Duncan thinks judges are ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and ending discrimination because that’s what Sharia law requires?

Actually, that would be Israeli law that recognizes same-sex marriage, offers partner benefits and allows — no, insists — that its LGBT citizens serve in the military. So maybe they need to be taking the Judeo out of their Judeo-Christian teachings and reconsider the Sharia thing. Under Sharia law, Uganda is again talking about passing its “kill the gays” bill. And it seems this would fit nicely into Oklahoma politics.

And while killing those pesky Ten Commandments was probably not the goal of 70 percent of the state’s voters, it doesn’t matter what the intent was, it matters what the law says. While murder is covered by other state laws, there is no word on whether belief in one God (No. 2), remembering the Sabbath (No. 5) and keeping it holy, or honoring your parents (No. 6) will be punished, or if sale of cameras will be discontinued (graven images, No. 3).

—  David Taffet