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GOP lawmaker wants to force young trans adults to de-transition

Oklahoma State Sen. David Bullard (R)
Oklahoma State Sen. David Bullard (R) Photo: Oklahoma Senate

In Oklahoma, a new bill called the “Millstone Act of 2023” has been proposed that would ban gender-affirming care in all forms for anyone under 26 years old. The bill targets healthcare providers and says anyone who violates the rule could face felony charges and have their medical license revoked.

The bill’s name reportedly refers to a passage in the Bible that says it is better to tie a large stone to your neck and drown than to cause harm to a child. It was introduced by state Sen. David Bullard (R), who was also behind a state law that passed last year banning trans youth from using school bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

In a statement to The Oklahoman, Bullard said gender-affirming surgery is “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and called it a violation of doctors’ Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

“We want to make sure that if we’re going to do a procedure like this that is irreversible, then we want to make sure an individual is at their full maturity when it comes to cognitive development,” he said.

He also explained why he wanted to restrict gender-affirming care to such a late age.

“At the age of 18, you can vote, but a vote is not a permanent change in your body that cannot be reversed. At the age of 21 you can drink, but at the end of the day if you decide to put the alcohol down, you can put the alcohol down. But with this surgery, there is no going back. We just want to make sure that the brain is fully developed before we allow this kind of surgery, permanent thing to happen.”

He also said he did not speak to a single transgender person before writing the bill.

Oklahoma has passed a slew of anti-trans legislation as of late.

In October, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed into law a bill that bans the Children’s Hospital at Oklahoma University Hospital from using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for gender-affirming care for minors. And in addition to signing Bullard’s bathroom bill, he also signed laws banning transgender students from participating in school sports and banning non-binary birth certificates in the state.

The Millstone Act is also one of multiple bills that have been proposed targeting gender-affirming care for trans adults as Republicans continue to expand their crusade against trans people. Bills targeting medical care for trans adults have recently been proposed in South Carolina and New Hampshire as well.

“We have been saying a slow moving genocide targeted at eliminating transgender people through eliminating gender affirming care is happening,” wrote activist Erin Reed in December. “It continues.”

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