OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, filed two floor substitutes to mirror Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and to prevent minors from receiving gender dysphoria treatment.
House Bill 1074 is modeled after Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The legislation would prohibit educators or other school personnel from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity for grades kindergarten through fifth. It also requires that any curriculum taught in grades six through 12 must be age and developmentally appropriate for students.
The measure would also require each school board to adopt procedures notifying a student’s parent or legal guardian if there is “a change in a student’s services related to their mental health, emotional, or physical health or well-being, and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student.”
“There is absolutely no reason we should be teaching or talking about sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school,” Dahm said. “Kids need to be learning their ABCs and how to read and write – not that a man can be a woman if [s]he feels like it, or vice versa. I applaud the State of Florida for enacting this measure, and call on my colleagues in Oklahoma to follow their lead and do the right thing to protect our children.”
HB 1076 would prohibit any person under the age of 18 from undergoing gender affirming treatment in the state.
“If we can’t trust those under 18 to purchase or use tobacco and alcohol, they aren’t mature enough to make a long-term decision like changing their gender,” Dahm said. “As gender reassignment surgery has become more and more common over the years, we are now hearing stories of transgender adults who are reversing these procedures because they realize they made a grave mistake. And unfortunately, their bodies are mutilated because of it. This legislation would protect these vulnerable individuals from making rash decisions without fully thinking them through.”
Any physician that performs the treatment would be subject to professional discipline by the State Medical Board and could receive a suspended or revoked license.
Freedom Oklahoma sent KFOR the following statement regarding the substitutes:
“All major medical associations support best-practice medical care that affirms transgender youth. Affirming health care is proven to save kids’ lives. Care includes a range of approaches, which are thoughtfully considered by youth, guardians, and doctors. The way care is portrayed by the Senator carrying this language is factually incorrect and intentionally inflammatory. Banning best-practice medical care is dangerous government intrusion. This is one of the most extreme political attacks on transgender people in recent memory. To try to sneak this effort into the end of the legislative session is egregious.Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director, Nicole McAfee
To partner it with an effort to further censor classrooms and chill speech in schools is life-threatening for too many 2SLGBTQ+ kids in Oklahoma. Just last month the CDC published new data that in the first half of 2020, 1 in every 4 2SLGBTQ+ teens acted on suicidality. We’re being literal when we say the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities are at stake.
We’re incensed that 2SLGBTQ+ kids and their families yet again have to face the fear and uncertainty of if and how elected officials will use their platforms to advance what are clearly harmful attacks. In every state where this language is copied and pasted into efforts, we’ve seen that the impact is harm, potentially irreparable harm, to 2SLGBTQ+ kids and kids of 2SLGBTQ+ parents.”
A similar bill by Senator Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, is already working its way through legislature, but SB 676 would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to undergo gender reassignment surgery.