Oklahoma – SQ 759
State Question 759?
Question 759 is a constitutional amendment will appear on the
November 6, 2012 ballot asking voters if the Oklahoma
government should be allowed to continue to grant preferential
treatment to, or discriminate against, any group or individual
on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin
in 3 specific
areas: public employment,
public education, or public contracting.
prompted State Question 759?
6, 2011 was the 50th anniversary of affirmative action being
created. Affirmative action wasn't meant to be a permanent
policy, nor was it initially meant to include race and gender
preferences. It seems that the 50th anniversary of this policy
is a good time for the people of Oklahoma to consider ending
the practice of preferences and discrimination on the basis of
race, sex, and ethnicity in the operation of public
employment, public education, and public
wrong with the government granting preferential treatment
based on race or sex?
and gender preferences foster resentment and marginalize
minorities and women. Policies that employ race and gender
preferences send a message that the beneficiaries of
preferences aren't smart, motivated or talented enough to
compete without some extra help from the government based
solely on skin color or ethnicity.
people vote to place this language into the constitution, will
this ban all affirmative action?
Action has become distorted. President Kennedy first used the
term in Executive Order 10925. This Order stated, "The
contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that
applicants are employed and that employees are treated during
regard to their race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin." Therefore, this will not
ban affirmative action in general. It will ban programs that
give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on
their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for
public employment, education or contracting purposes,
regardless of if they are called affirmative action programs
or not. Left intact are affirmative action programs that are
socioeconomic based, that reach out to women and minorities,
that seek to eliminate bias in testing, and in fact all such
programs that do not give preferential treatment as described
race-based quotas still exist?
you will likely never hear programs described as quotas, the
functional equivalent of a quota still exists. When the
opposition says that "race is considered" they often also say
that there is a "goal," "target" or a "percentage" in place.
"Goals," "targets" and "percentages" are quotas.
people vote to place this language into the constitution, what
will it affect?
will only affect government programs that grant preference or
discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex,
ethnicity, skin color or national origin in 3 specific
areas: public contracting,
public employment, and public education.
amendment apply to private companies, private organizations or
No. This will only apply to
government action in the areas of public education, employment
similar measures passed in other states?
– it passed in California (1996, 55%-45%), Washington (1998,
59%-41%), Michigan (2006, 58%-42%), Nebraska (2008, 58%-42%)
and Arizona (2010, 60%-40%).
and gender Preferences cost taxpayers?
bid preferences, such as are done in the city of Tulsa, drive
up the costs of government and amount to a drain on taxpayer
dollars to sponsor race, ethnicity and gender based
preferences bearing no relation to the public work to be
completed under the public contract being awarded. SQ 759 ends
public discrimination and saves scarce public funds at the
Oklahoma citizens have a right to fair and equal treatment.
Opponents of SQ 759 say that we need race and sex preferences
to promote diversity. Diversity is not skin deep. When
opponents say "diversity" they mean we need more minorities.
Diversity should never be an excuse for the government to
discriminate and engage in racial gerrymandering.
at the heart of SQ 759?
SQ 759 is about fairness for all Oklahomans. This is a country
and especially a state built on the principle of merit. How
can we move beyond race when our very own government requires
you to check a box and then be treated differently based on
what race you check?
Secretary of State Ballot Language
exact words that would be added to the Oklahoma
The state shall not grant preferential treatment to, or
discriminate against, any individual or group on the
basis of race, color, sex, ethnicity or national origin in the
operation of public employment, public education or public
This section shall apply only to action taken after the
effective date of this section.
Nothing in the section shall be interpreted as prohibiting
bona fide qualifications based on sex that are reasonably
necessary to the normal operation of public employment, public
education or public contracting.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as invalidating
any court order or consent decree that is in force as of the
effective date of this section.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting
action that must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility
for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in a
loss of federal funds to the state.
For the purposes of this section, “state” shall include, but
not be limited to, the state itself or an agency institution,
instrumentality, or political subdivision of the
The remedies available for violations of this section shall be
the same, regardless of the injured party’s race, color, sex,
ethnicity or national origin, as are otherwise available for
violations of the antidiscrimination laws of the this
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