OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Just one day before the controversial House Bill 1007 is set to be voted on, a group of Republican lawmakers called for an immediate statewide ban on gender reassignment surgeries for minors.
“If there is the desire to actually accomplish something immediately for the people of Oklahoma, we have that opportunity tomorrow,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. “We have an obligation to protect the children of our state.”
The bill, also known as the “American Rescue Plan,” is expected to be discussed during the Special Session happening on Thursday.
The measure would give $39.4 million dollars from federal stimulus funds to OU Health to help build a new pediatric mental health facility. It also includes a restriction that the money cannot be used to perform “gender reassignment medical treatment” on Oklahomans under the age of eighteen.
The bill explains the barred treatments include “any health care to facilitate the transitioning of a patient’s assigned gender identity on the patient’s birth certificate, to the gender identity experienced and defined by the patient.”
However, on Wednesday lawmakers announced they want to see the restrictions taken further.
“There has been a proposal that would stop it in OU but there is no emergency effect put upon that bill. So, it will go into effect 90 days after the passing of that bill,” said Sen. Dahm. “We believe that we should have an immediate statewide prohibition on the surgeries on these puberty blockers, on what is being done to these children.”
To put this into action, the Republican lawmakers want legislators to extend the current Special Session. However, if that doesn’t work, they say they’ll look to the Governor.
“We the members of the Oklahoma House and Senate urge Governor Stitt to call an additional Special Session to end the general genital mutilation of children in Oklahoma,” said Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville.
A spokeswoman for governor weighed in with the following statement:
“The governor opposes irreversible surgeries that mutilate, sterilize, or otherwise harm healthy children.” said Carly Atchison, a Gov. Stitt spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, another lawmaker is calling the move a “cheap political trick.”
“They’re doing everything they can to distract away from the fact that their policy doesn’t help everyday Oklahomans… It’s about the most un-Oklahoman thing they can do,” said Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City. “Unfortunately, people in the trans community are collateral to their failures and I think it’s just really, really demeaning.”
Below is a list of resources available to the transgender community:
- Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860)
- LGBT Hotline (888-843-4564)
- Trevor Project (call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678)