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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 4, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 40
113,000 LGBT people in Oklahoma lack statewide protections from discrimination
Section One
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113,000 LGBT people in Oklahoma lack statewide protections from discrimination

LOS ANGELES (September 24, 2019) - An estimated 113,000 LGBT adults in Oklahoma are vulnerable to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Oklahoma's workforce includes approximately 74,000 LGBT people age 16 and older.

Researchers estimate that local ordinances protect 29% of adults in Oklahoma from housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. One broader local ordinance in Norman also protects 3% of adults in Oklahoma from this type of discrimination in employment and public accommodations.

Absent a statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBT people in Oklahoma are vulnerable to discrimination and are disadvantaged economically.

Findings
" 25% of LGBT adults in Oklahoma report that they do not have health insurance compared to 16% of non-LGBT adults.

" 36% of LGBT adults in Oklahoma report not having enough money for food compared to 19% of non-LGBT adults.

" 11% of LGBT adults in Oklahoma report being unemployed compared to 5% of non-LGBT adults.

" 28% of LGBT adults in Oklahoma report having a household income below $24,000 compared to 24% of non-LGBT adults.

'Prior research has linked socioeconomic disparities for LGBT people to geographic regions, such as the South, where there are fewer legal protections and a poorer social climate for LGBT people,' said lead author, Christy Mallory, State and Local Policy Director at the Williams Institute. 'Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Oklahoma's nondiscrimination law would protect thousands of people and would add only about 42 new complaints each year, which could be addressed without the need for additional staff or resources.'

A 2018 poll found that 55% of Oklahoma residents support laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Read the report [at https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Oklahoma-ND-Report-September-2019.pdf].

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.

Courtesy of the Williams Institute

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