Media Contact

Cassidy Fallik, Communications Director ACLU of Oklahoma,, 913-748-1278
Nicole McAfee, Executive Director Freedom Oklahoma,, 830-334-1660

February 9, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY - On February 9 at 9 AM, the newly renamed House State Powers Committe gave a platform to Representative Jim Olsen’s HB 2973 promoting the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” to change sexual orientation and gender identity in the face of the facts this practice is medically discredited and still occurs at the expense of 2SLGBTQ+ people’s safety, mental, and physical health. The ACLU of Oklahoma and Freedom Oklahoma responded with the following:

The following statement is attributable to Cindy Nguyen, Policy Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma:

“The ACLU of Oklahoma has a long history of ensuring all Oklahomans can live their lives openly and authentically without discrimination, harassment, or violence. But politicians pushing widely rejected practices by the medical community seems to be an ongoing theme session after session, putting our 2SLGBTQ+ community directly in danger. The combination of these attacks — in schools, in sports, in healthcare — leave many people with few places to turn for support.”

“Life’s problems do not come from being a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community — they come from barriers to living openly and authentically. If politicians want to help the community, they need to ensure all Oklahomans feel safe and secure in our State. This comes from seeing ourselves reflected in our books and curriculum, while being respected for who we are.” 

The following statement is attributable to Nicole McAfee, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma: 

“There is no controversy on whether or not conversion therapy works--it does not. It is not only a discredited practice, it actively causes more harm. It is a fact that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed.  Subjecting people to this discredited practice leads to lasting consequences for 2SLGBTQ+ people, young people especially. Giving a platform to the nonsensical idea that there is something wrong with 2SLGBTQ+ Oklahomans is indefensible and dismissive of the responsibilities of governing. 2SLGBTQ+ people have always existed here. We’re not only worthy of safety, we’re sacred, and we deserve policy that protects, not attacks our community.” 

Cindy Nguyen: she/her 
Nicole McAfee: they/she

We know that stories amplifying attacks on 2SLGBTQ+ people have a measurable negative impact on mental health. We ask that stories covering this topic include information to access 2SLGBTQ+ affirming mental health support, such as Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860), the Trevor Project (call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678), and the LGBT Hotline (888-843-4564)