Bill Preventing Non-binary Designation on Oklahoma Birth Certificates Moves Forward

Fox 25 - April 11, 2022 9:38 am

A bill sparking controversy in the transgender and gender non-conforming communities is moving through the Oklahoma state legislature.

SB 1100 would prohibit a person from selecting a non-binary designation on their birth certificate.

The legislation stemmed from an incident back in November.

Governor Stitt issued an executive order banning the state health department from giving someone a birth certificate that lists their gender as non-binary, meaning that person does not identify strictly as male or female.

One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Representative Sheila Dills, (R)-Tulsa, said the bill is codifying the order into law.

The bill requires the biological sex designation on a birth certificate to be male or female, preventing any non-binary symbol such as the letter “X”.

“When you’re born, you’re either a biological female or you’re a biological male,” Rep. Dills said. “You either have an XX chromosome or an XY chromosome. And so we feel like that’s very important.”

Nicole McAfee, the Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, said this will have detrimental effects on gender identity.

“We know that being correctly gendered and having your correct name used is really important,” McAfee said. “And when we think about all of the other documents that build off of having a required birth certificate, I think we can think about what it means to go vote as a person who is non-binary or two-spirit or gender diverse and be misgendered because your form of ID doesn’t match who you are.”

Often times birth certificates are used to obtain other legal documents, such as driver’s licenses or passports.

“Really the impacts I think are far-reaching in terms of both mental and emotional harm, as well as disruption to someone’s ability to do day-to-day business,” McAfee said.

While advocates said this could impact the mental health of many Oklahomans, Rep. Dills said the majority of her constituents support the bill.

“I think it’s important that people who are struggling mentally get the proper help they need obviously,” Rep. Dills said. “But I think this is a very big, important issue to the majority of people in Oklahoma, and we’re going to take care of it in law.”

Lambda Legal is currently challenging Governor Stitt’s executive order in court.

Advocates said if this bill gets signed into law, they’re expecting it to be challenged as well.

The bill passed through a House committee with a 7-1 vote. It will now go to the House floor.

 

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