Republican governor Kevin Stitt has signed an anti-trans bill into law that bans trans students from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Stitt signed the law on Wednesday (25 May), which applies to pre-kindergarten through to 12th grade public and public charter schools in Oklahoma. In the event that a transgender student refuses to use the restroom matches the sex shown on their birth certificate, the school would need to provide “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room”.
According to CNN, there have been more than 100 anti-trans bills signed in America in 2022 alone, with a focus on trans youth. Stitt is no stranger to signing these bills, with two restrictive trans rights bills under his belt already this year.
Stitt signed an anti-trans sports bill, banning trans women and girls from competing in sports teams in the state that correspond with their gender identity. He also signed a law banning non-binary gender markers on birth certificates outright.
The state has been under particular scrutiny this year for its sheer emphasis on restricting trans rights – and bathroom bills like this one are no new phenomena to the marginalised group.
Oklahoma ACLU executive director Tamya Cox-Touré lambasted the governor for his disregard for trans youth, saying: “By signalling out transgender students for discrimination and excluding them from restrooms that match their gender identity, SB 615 discriminates based on transgender status and sex in violation of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.”
Republicans like Stitt have consistently attempted to make it more difficult for transgender Americans to receive gender-affirming health care, an effort of which this legislation is part of.
“Governor Stitt and the anti-equality legislators in the Oklahoma State House have been relentless in their attack on LGBTQ+ rights, and particularly for transgender people,” Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement last month.