Oklahoma issued its first nonbinary birth certificate, setting up a showdown with state GOP lawmakers.
After the Oklahoma Department of Health issued its first gender-neutral Oct. 7 birth certificate to a former Oregon resident who was born in Oklahoma, Republican elected officials vowed to fight against the new policy, including Gov. Kevin Stitt, who vowed to take "whatever action necessary."
"I believe that people are created by God to be male or female. Period," Stitt said in his Thursday statement. "There is no such thing as non-binary sex and I wholeheartedly condemn the purported OSDH court settlement that was entered into by rogue activists who acted without receiving proper approval or oversight."
On Wednesday, state Sen. Micheal Bergstrom filed Senate Bill 1100, described as a bill "limiting sex or gender designation on certificate of birth to male or female; prohibiting nonbinary designation."
“I was assured by the State Department of Health a couple months ago that they had no intention of adding another sex option to birth certificates, but they recently approved a non-binary option,” Bergstrom said. “We’re at an odd time in history where people are seemingly forgetting science and biology and casting common sense out the window. When babies are born, they are either born male or female based on their chromosomes and genitals. Allowing anything else to be listed on a birth certificate is ludicrous, and it’s time we clarify this in our statutes.”
Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye said the department "will work with the Governor and Attorney General’s office for input and counsel on next steps."
"Our responsibility is to maintain vital statistics, and we will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of Oklahoma. Should a challenge to the previous agreement be made, we will proceed accordingly," he continued.
Kit Lorelied, who was born female but identifies as nonbinary, filed a lawsuit in 2020 against the state's Department of Health seeking a birth certificate change, according to a GoFundMe.
"Helping establish more precedent in the courts that validates a person's gender identity is a community goal, one that can literally save lives," Lorelied wrote in the fundraising plea, which has reached $900 of its $4,000 goal as of Friday.
Despite the pushback from Republicans, some celebrated the change to Lorelied's birth certificate, with Freedom Oklahoma, described as "Oklahoma's only statewide LGBTQ2S+ advocacy organization," saying the gender-neutral marker is "not up for debate."
"We deserve the same rights to access government documents that accurately reflect who we are, if we so choose, including birth certificates," the organization added.
Oklahoma, along with 14 other states, as well as the District of Columbia, are among those that have adopted policies to allow for individuals to request a non-binary gender option on their birth certificates, according to U.S. Birth Certificates and Vital Records.
Many government entities have moved toward providing gender-neutral options. The U.S. State Department announced on Oct. 20 it was celebrating International Pronouns Day and encouraged people to share their pronouns including gender neutral ones such as "ze/zir/zirs." This followed a previous announcement from the State Department allowing for passport applicants to select their gender preferences.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Gov. Kevin Stitt's office and the Oklahoma Department of Health for a comment but did not immediately receive a response back.
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Original Author: Elizabeth Faddis
Original Location: Oklahoma issues first nonbinary certificate