Eye on the Right: Attempting to Block Protections for Gay Community, OK Sen. Removes Hate Crime Protections for Race & Religion

Right-wing legislators often disassociate gay rights from civil rights, yet their actions demonstrate that hate against one group can inevitably lead to the same toward another.  Take Oklahoma, where several right-wing lawmakers were livid following President Barack Obama's signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in October, extending federal hate crimes protections to the gay and lesbian community. 

Defeating Ultrasound Requirements to Protect Women's Health Access

In a significant decision last month, an Oklahoma County District Court ruled that a 2008 anti-choice law violated the state constitution.  The law in question (SB 1878) was more burdensome than any prior bill regulating pre-abortion ultrasounds passed in the country, requiring women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a doctor describe fetal characteristics before consenting to the procedure.  Opponents argued that the law invades a woman's right to privacy and violates doctors' freedom of speech.