Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a new bill into law yesterday, banning a ‘genderless’ option on birth certificates issued in the US state.
By signing a new law, that made Oklahoma the first US state to prohibit a nonbinary option, the governor was following up on an executive order that he issued in November 2021, prohibiting the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSDH) from amending gender designations on birth certificates.
Over a dozen US states allow for gender designations other than male and female on their birth certificates. Others don’t provide a nonbinary option, but Oklahoma is reported to be the first to legally prohibit the designation.
“People are free to believe whatever they want about their identity, but science has determined people are either biologically male or female at birth,” said Representative Sheila Dills, the Republican lawmaker who sponsored the bill on gender designations. “We want clarity and truth on official state documents. Information should be based on established medical fact and not an ever-changing social dialogue.”
The new law relating to birth certificates comes less than one month after Stitt signed a bill prohibiting biological males from participating in girls’ sports. More than a dozen Republican-controlled legislatures have passed such bills since 2020.
Current US administration last month announced that it was making an “X” gender marker available on US passports. The US State Department had previously begun allowing citizens to self-select the gender identity on their documents.
Oklahomans elected the nation’s first openly nonbinary legislator, Mauree Turner, in 2020. The Oklahoma City Democrat, whose Twitter profile includes “not a woman,” spoke out against the bill on nonbinary gender markers as it was being debated in the House last week. “I find it very extreme and grotesque use of power in this body to write this law and try to pass it when literally none of them live like this,” Turner tweeted.