A self-proclaimed non-binary lawmaker in Oklahoma blasted Gov. Kevin Stitt for his remarks asserting there are only two genders and that “there is no such thing as non-binary sex.”
Democratic State Rep. Mauree Turner claimed it was difficult to have a working relationship with someone like Stitt who opposes “your existence.”
“If you have to work with people who adamantly oppose your existence, right, to the point to where we can’t work together, you can’t talk to me, you can’t talk to me like I’m a human being, you don’t see me, that damages anyone’s working relationship,” the first Oklahoma lawmaker to identify as non-binary told Fox25.
“To be able to have that autonomy and have that part, that real intimate part of you really kind of recognized in a big way is really, really important in more ways than one,” Turner continued.
The comments from the elected officials were in response to the Oklahoma State Department of Health changing its policies according to legal settlement to allow people to claim a gender-neutral option on their birth certificates.
Stitt accused the decision of not being made “with proper approval or oversight” and dismissed the claim that there is any gender other than male or female.
“I believe that people are created by God to be male or female. Period,” Stitt said in a 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.”
“I will be taking whatever action necessary to protect Oklahoma values and our way of life,” he continued.
Many agreed with the governor on social media.
Agreed!!! There is no such thing.
— Juan Herrera (@jherrerafamily) October 24, 2021
You may believe you can flap your arms and fly but in truth you cannot!
— David Truell (@64dbt) October 24, 2021
There ISNT! We’re being gaslighted.
— Scot Currier (@funin405) October 24, 2021
Turner contends that Stitt’s statements are worrisome and could suppress the rights of the LBGTQ community.
“If we are continuously saying like, ‘You’re not real, you have to suppress that part of you,’ what is that going to do to our community?” Asked Turner. “What’s that going to do to our kids.”
Some questioned Turner’s choice of attire as it appears to suggest a particular biological gender.
But yet it wears a head scarf which is mandated to be worn by women
— robert the dog (@robertthedog2) October 24, 2021
The lawsuit that resulted in the birth certificate policy change alleged that “accurate identification on essential documents is critical to an individual’s ability to live their life to the fullest,” according to a report by KFOR.
“Categorically depriving nonbinary persons from a birth certificate matching their gender identity, simply because Oklahoma does not recognize such as a designation, harms their health and well-being, by impeding nonbinary individuals’ ability to live a life consistent with how they see themselves,” the lawsuit read.
Several other lawmakers spoke out against allowing a non-binary option on Oklahoma birth certificates.
“Unelected employees in the executive branch of government have no authority to make decisions of this magnitude. The vast majority of elected House members expect the governor, as the elected leader of the executive branch, to immediately take executive action to follow through on his pledge to undo this. This executive branch agency acted outside its scope of authority, and now the governor, as the leader of that branch of government, must correct it immediately through executive order,” Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall said on Thursday.
“The authority to institute policy changes of this magnitude rightly belongs within the legislative branch, the branch of government closest to the people. Executive branch agencies should not attempt to legislate or make substantive policy changes like this through rulemaking or court settlement. This is an egregious example of executive overreach that should be corrected as soon as possible,” said Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat.
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