OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A lawsuit has been filed to block a controversial sex education law that has an amendment to regulate school bathrooms in Oklahoma.

In May, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 615 into law.

The law, which went into effect upon Stitt’s signature, requires sex education materials used in school counselor-led meetings or classes to be inspected by the student’s parents or legal guardian. This includes topics like sexual orientation and gender identity.

“All this is about is trying to protect the family and tradition,” the bill’s author, State Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole, previously said to KFOR. “This is a way to say ‘don’t talk about this stuff with these kids until their parents say you can and if they say you cannot, you cannot.’”

Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, filed an amendment to the bill requiring schools to enforce a ‘biological sex’ bathroom policy.

West’s amendment followed questions surrounding the State’s guidance on bathroom policies after Stillwater Public Schools received letters from the Secretary of Education and Attorney General telling the district to end a policy it has had since 2015 that allows transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and several other partners filed a federal lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Department of Education, three school districts, one public charter school, and numerous government officials regarding the law.

“Oklahoma has launched another cruel and unconstitutional attack on a most-vulnerable population – transgender school children,” said Nicholas Guillory, Staff Attorney and Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow, Lambda Legal. “This is not the first such attack on transgender schoolchildren, and sadly it will likely not be the last. It is sad that anti-transgender state legislators nationwide keep singling out transgender students for harmful, discriminatory treatment, notwithstanding that we and our allies have successfully quashed these efforts wherever they have popped up.” 

The complaint claims that SB 615 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title IX by discriminating on the basis of sex, gender identity, and transgender status.

“There is no valid reason to prohibit transgender students from using the same facilities as their peers. Doing so is stigmatizing and damaging. It interferes with their ability to learn at school and can lead to physical harms as well. No problems have arisen in schools that allow transgender students to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender. It is time for politicians to stop using young people who are transgender as a wedge issue for political gain,” said Jon Davidson, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU.