James Lankford

U.S. Senator from Oklahoma

—Falsely claimed that the Equality Act will force people to hide their faith. The Equality Act expands protections against discrimination based on a person's religion.

—In objecting to the Equality Act, claimed: “We don’t oppose equality, but we do oppose legislation when you take the rights of one and dismiss the rights of others.” The Equality Act offers comprehensive protections against discrimination against every LGBTQ American and expands protections on the basis of sex and religion.

Signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court defending a taxpayer-funded agency's right to discriminate against same-sex couples looking to foster a child.

Cosponsored a bill in “protection of women's sports” by banning transgender people from participating. Trans people have been participating in sports for years, with no damage to women, girls, or their sports.

—Quoted writer J.K. Rowling, who has opposed transgender people, in blocking the Equality Act in 2020: “To say in the words of J.K. Rowling this past week where she wrote, ‘All I’m asking, all I want is for similar empathy, similar understanding to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats or abuse. Let’s work together to get equality. This bill does not do it in this form.”

On record as opposing marriage equality and believes sexual orientation is a choice.

Derided and lied about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, saying: “Right now churches are trying to discern how the new ‘hate crimes’ legislation affects their teaching of the Bible.” The legislation had nothing to do with religious study. 

Supported an Oklahoma constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. After a federal judge ruled the law contravenes the U.S. Constitution, Lankford said in response that “marriage is a state issue and Oklahoma has spoken.”

Supported anti-LGBTQ businesses’ freedom of speech when they expressed their views, but not pro-equality businesses when they did the same. He supported anti-LGBTQ fast-food chain Chick-fil-A’s views, but complained when A&E, also a private business, suspended Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson from its network.

The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.