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Oklahoma governor signs bill prohibiting nonbinary designation on birth certificates

Katie Rainbow / Unsplash

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Tuesday getting rid of gender-neutral birth certificates in the state.

Last year, Oklahoma began allowing non-binary residents to update their birth certificates and opt out of male-female designation. Health officials adopted the policy after settling a lawsuit with an Oklahoma-born Oregon resident, who wanted to update their own certificate.

In November, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order banning the practice, ordered the Oklahoma State Department of Health to remove any mention of it from the agency’s website, and ordered the agency to inform the governor’s office of any legal action taken against the agency regarding birth certificates.

Conservative lawmakers also pledged to reverse the change legislatively.

Senate Bill 1100, authored by Sen. Michael Bergstrom (R-Adair), requires the biological sex designation on a birth certificate to be either male or female and prohibits a nonbinary designation or any symbol representing a nonbinary designation, including the letter "X."

On Tuesday, Stitt announced he signed the bill into law.

The measure is the latest in a wave of efforts to restrict both medical and social support for transgender people. Earlier this year, Oklahoma joined several conservative states in banning trans athletes from girls’ sports in public schools.

Other states have implemented policies restricting gender-affirming care for minors. In Texas, parents who seek the care for their children are subject to child abuse investigations.

Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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