OKLAHOMA – Senate Bill 1619, the so called transgender bill, was defeated in committee Tuesday night.
But, Wednesday morning, it was resurrected in another bill.
“It’s absolutely an absurd breach of the rules in my opinion. I think that was the argument had yesterday in JCAB on the House side was that they are not following their own rule book. And, they are giving no notice. There’s no transparency to the public,” said Troy Stevenson with Freedom Oklahoma.
Stevenson has been working against the legislation.
He was angry to learn the fight was not over.
“The scary part is this is a crime and punishment bill. So, we’re not sure what language they’re dropping in there. I think, if they’re trying to create a new crime, they definitely are violating every rule of transparency and ethics to not tell the public what they’re doing,” Stevenson said.
“It’s not being not transparent. It’s doing what we’re supposed to do. It’s a core function of government, is public safety,” said Rep. John Bennett.
Bennett is the House author of the new bill – Senate Bill 1141 – that was a bill about punishing peeping toms.
It’s now a carbon copy of SB 1619 which directs schools to provide non-transgender bathrooms for students who object to that.
It’s in response to Obama’s federal directive ordering schools to provide a transgender person access to the bathroom of their choice.
“And, a child or a parent of a child said ‘Hey, I do not want my child going into the restroom with a person of another gender,’ then they need to make accommodations for them, as well,” Bennett said.
Bennett said there is no criminal aspect to this new bill and that it is exactly the same as the old one.
The new bill was supposed to be heard in a Senate committee meeting on Wednesday, but that meeting did not happen.
It would have to make it out of committees in both the House and Senate before being up for a vote.