Oklahoma House Passes Controversial Transgender Bathroom Bill

Oklahoma House Passes Controversial Transgender Bathroom Bill

A bill regulating what school bathroom Oklahoma students use now heads to the Governor’s desk. 

Lawmakers’ discussing mental health, privacy and Title IX violations for hours Thursday. Ultimately, the measure passed in both the House and the Senate 

“Do you have any instances of a rape, sexual assault some sort of safety concern in Oklahoma schools that lead you to write this bill?” asked Oklahoma House Minority Leader Emily Virgin of Norman. 

“Not that I am aware of,” responded Republican House Representative Kevin West of Moore. 

The fate of the bill requiring students to use the restroom that aligns with their biological sex assigned at birth now lies in the hands of Governor Stitt. 

“A child could be punished by their school for the way that they go to the bathroom?” asked Democratic Senator Jo Anna Dossett from Tulsa. 

“It would be the manner in which they go if it is in violation of school policy and state law,” responded Republican Senator David Bullard of Durant. 

The measure prompted hours of debate on both the Senate and House Floor. 

“You cannot change your gender; you cannot pick your gender…there is a confused group of people that somehow think you can,” said Republican House Representative Jim Olsen of Roland. 

“Our liberation will not be bound in the laws that come out of this body, but they will be bound in how we show up for one another when this body does the worst time and time again,” said Democratic House Representative Mauree Turner of Oklahoma City. 

Students without the biological marker on their birth certificate are left with two options. 

“They can either get the information from the doctor if that’s what they choose to do or they can use the single use facility,” said Representative West.  

“These types of laws are designed to ban transgender children from using the restroom that aligns with their gender. Opening up space for anyone’s gender presentations considered questionable to be open to harassment,” said Representative Turner. 

If the Governor signs the bill, the State School Board would oversee investigating complaints from parents who think students are not following the bathroom policy. If a school isn’t found in compliance, they would lose 5% of their state funding.