Oklahoma lawmakers are considering several proposals that would protect parent’s rights in education and ban controversial sex-change procedures for minors.
On Monday, several hundred left-wing protesters inundated the capitol building to demonstrate against the bills. But despite the large protest, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and lawmakers weren’t cowed.
“We must protect our most vulnerable, our children. After all, minors can’t vote, can’t purchase alcohol, can’t purchase cigarettes,” said Stitt.
“We shouldn’t allow a minor to get a permanent gender altering surgery in Oklahoma,” he said. “That’s why I’m calling for the Legislature to send me a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state of Oklahoma.”
Republicans enjoy large majorities in both the Oklahoma House and Senate, and the lawmakers at the capitol gave Stitt multiple standing ovations.
Among the proposals under consideration in the Sooner State is a bill from Sen. David Bullard that would make it a felony for medical providers to provide gender altering care to anyone under the age of 26, though it does include an exclusion for intersex individuals.
Earlier this month, Utah also moved to ban minors from accessing potentially life-changing puberty blockers or undergoing sex-change surgeries.
On the other end of the spectrum, states like California have passed legislation turning them into a “sanctuary state” for minors seeking gender altering care.
Maine is one of a few states that covers the procedures under MaineCare.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills ordered changes to MaineCare policies in 2019 to cover the procedures, and since that time taxpayer-funded gender altering procedures have nearly quadrupled.