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Oklahoma passes anti-transgender bathroom bill

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin StittPhoto: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Oklahoma’s legislature has passed an anti-transgender bathroom bill that Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) – who has a history of anti-LGBTQ actions – is likely to sign.

S.B. 615 passed the state senate in a 38-7 vote yesterday. The bill would require transgender students to either use the restroom associated with the sex on their birth certificates or use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room.”

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The bill threatens funding for school districts if they don’t comply and allows parents to sue school districts if they believe that their child had to share a restroom with a transgender classmate.

“All this bill does is target transgender people for discrimination,” the ACLU of Oklahoma said. “All of us, including transgender people, care about safety and privacy in restrooms and locker rooms.”

Stitt signed a law earlier this year banning transgender students from participating in school sports. He signed another law banning non-binary birth certificates in the state.

The bills could be challenged in courts. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last March that said that Title IX’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sex in education protects students from anti-LGBTQ discrimination as well, since it’s impossible to discriminate against LGBTQ students without taking sex into account.

That includes sports bans and bathroom bills, since laws like the ones Oklahoma passed single out one class of girls or boys for worse treatment based on their sex assigned at birth.

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