Saturday, January 16th 2016, 11:53 pm
An Edmond pastor said he has got the backing of two presidential candidates in an effort to protect life and marriage in Oklahoma.
Some believe the movement coincides with legislation that could discriminate against certain Oklahomans, including one piece known as the "bathroom bill" that would define who could use what restrooms.
"We've got Governor Huckabee on one end and then we've got Donald Trump that has also come out and endorsed our protect life and marriage effort,” Paul Blair said.
It is an effort started by a Baptist preacher. Blair is the pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond. He is also behind Protect Life and Marriage Oklahoma, and he's not afraid to talk about it.
"We're not trying to put something on the ballot, because the law already says that marriage is one man and one woman,” he said. "What we're trying to do is awaken the people and get the numbers of people awakened to what we're doing so that we can stand with the legislature."
Troy Stevenson is the executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, an advocacy group for the LGBTQ community. He said right now, there is legislation going on at the state Capitol that includes the 16 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation that were filed.
"One of them bars people from using certain restrooms,” Stevenson said. "Basically barring transgender people from using a restroom at all."
It is one of many Stevenson said that are biased and unfair to non-heterosexual Oklahomans. While he said Blair and his supporters have every right to speak up about their beliefs, he said there is a certain protocol in doing so.
"If they are using money that they're raising, that's tax exempt from the federal government, to do lobbying at the legislature, that would be questionable,” Stevenson said.
"Liberals should be just as supportive of this effort as conservatives are. A liberal wouldn't want me to force their values down their throat,” Blair said. “Well, I don't want them to force their different values down my throat."
"We're not trying to change their faith in any way. We just want the same rights that their asking for,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson said his group will be looking over all 16 pieces of legislation and will have a press conference next week to address it.
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