June 6, 2018
For a few weeks now, I’ve had the eponymous song from the musical “Oklahoma” in my head, watching the state consider a bill to allow taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies to use religion to discriminate against children and prospective parents. Since the legislature passed this bill and Governor Mary Fallin signed it into law — a particularly bitter irony with May being National Foster Care Month — I’ve been singing a slightly different tune: ”you’re NOT doing fine Oklahoma, O.K.”
Though Oklahoma was the first state in 2018 to make such a move, it is unfortunately the eighth state to do so overall, following in the misguided footsteps of Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. Worse still, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer recently signed a similar bill passed by his state’s legislature, and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed an executive order aimed at allowing faith-based agencies to discriminate — which some legislators in his state are now trying to bolster through a provision in its massive appropriations bill.