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‘Patriotism Not Pride’ bill banning Oklahoma from spending funds on Pride Month passes key vote

Rainbow LGBTQ Progress Pride Flag Oklahoma State Flags Capitol Building

The proposed legislation would also ban the display of Pride flags by government agencies.

A proposed bill in the Oklahoma state legislature that would prohibit government agencies from spending funds on recognizing or promoting Pride Month passed a committee vote along party lines earlier today. The vote was marred when protesters were banned from carrying Pride flags into the meeting.

The bill, H.B. 3217 and entitled the Patriotism Not Pride Act, was introduced by state Rep. Kevin West and state Sen. David Boullard The bill also ban the display of Pride flags by state agencies.

“No state funds may be used by any agency to develop, organize, administer, engage in, promote, or endorse any activity, including any event, initiative, official communication, social media post, educational program, or public campaign, that aims to promote or recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Pride Month or any event with a similar theme,” the text of the two-page bill reads. “No flag that represents sexual orientation or gender identity may be displayed by an agency on state property or grounds.”

The debate in the House State Powers committee was marred when the legislature’s sergeants at arms and local state troopers prevented protesters from entering the committee room while carrying Pride flags.

“In my experience, while flags and signs have been banned from the gallery, they have never confiscated them from hearing rooms,” said one surprised protestor.

After a short debate, the H.B. 3217 was passed on a party-line vote of 7 to 2, as noted by Rainbow Youth Project USA in a post to X Twitter.

Critics called out the proposed bill on social media. The ACLU of Oklahoma asked for concerned members of the LGBTQ+ community to contact their representatives to voice their opinions of the bill.

If passed and signed into law by the Governor, the law would take effect July 1, 2024.

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