Transgender Activist Arrested After Bill Restricting ‘Gender Transition Procedures’ Passes

KOKH - March 2, 2023 8:57 am

Oklahoma State Capitol

A transgender activist was arrested after legislation that would prohibit “gender transition procedures” being administered to minors was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday.

House Bill (HB) 2177, authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, and Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, prohibits healthcare professionals from providing or attempting to provide a referral for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for minors.

“This legislation is about protecting our children from those who would seek to profit from their gender confusion,” West said. “As a state, we must not be partner to irreversible health practices that permanently change the bodies of our children before they are of an age where they can fully understand the consequences of their decisions.”

HB 2177 allows exceptions for minors who have a medically verifiable disorder. The bill also prohibits insurance coverage for gender transition services performed within Oklahoma on any minor or adult.

“Common sense tells us that the decisions people make as a teenager may be shortsighted and later regretted, especially in regard to a major action like these irreversible procedures,” Olsen said. “Even one child who undergoes a life-altering procedure and later laments their decision is one too many. I’m proud to stand against these reprehensible actions and proud to protect Oklahoma’s children.”

The measure, which would go into effect immediately upon being signed, grants a six-month time period to taper off any minor who is currently on hormone therapy.

Questions and debate on the bill led to multiple outbursts from the gallery. Some activists were ultimately escorted out of the Chamber.

The anger and frustration boiled over after the bill passed. Outside the chamber, an activist threw water at Rep. Bob Ed Culver.

The person was chased down the Capitol’s stairwell where they then hit an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper. The person was arrested for assault.

Freedom Oklahoma, a political advocacy organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, responded to the incident:

“It’s absurd to demand that marginalized people being attacked also respond within rules of decorum that were never meant to welcome us. We’re in contact with the person arrested and have ensured they have access to bail support,” said a tweet from Freedom Oklahoma.

Culver released a statement that he will be pressing charges against the individual.

“If water being thrown had been the extent of the action taken, I would not have given it a second thought,” Culver said. “However, I cannot stand by while our highway patrolmen are assaulted for simply doing their jobs.”

HB 2177 passed the House 80-18 and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.


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